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The Ichimoku Kinko Hyo or equilibrium chart isolates higher probability trades in the forex market. It is new to the mainstream, but has been rising incrementally in popularity among novice and experienced traders. More known for its applications in the futures and equities forums, the Ichimoku displays a clearer picture because it shows more data points, which provide a more reliable price action. The application offers multiple tests and combines three indicators into one chart, allowing the trader to make the most informed decision. Learn how the Ichimoku works and how to add it to your own trading routine.

Getting to Know Ichimoku
Before a trader can trade effectively on the chart, a basic understanding of the components that make up the equilibrium chart need to be established. Created and revealed in 1968, the Ichimoku was developed in a manner unlike most other technical indicators and chart applications. Usually formulated by statisticians or mathematicians in the industry, the indicator was constructed by a Tokyo newspaper writer named Goichi Hosoda and a handful of assistants running multiple calculations.What they came up with is now used by many Japanese trading rooms because it offers multiple tests on the price action, creating higher probability trades. Although many traders are intimidated by the abundance of lines drawn when the chart is actually applied, the components can be easily translated into more commonly accepted indicators.

Essentially made up of four major components, the application offers the trader key insight into FX market price action. First, we'll take a look at both the Tenkan and Kijun Sens. Used as a moving average crossover, both lines are simple translations of the 20- and 50-day moving averages, although with slightly different time frames.

1. The Tenkan Sen - Calculated as the sum of the highest high and the lowest low divided by two. The Tenkan is calculated over the previous seven to eight time periods.

2. The Kijun Sen - Calculated as the sum of the highest high and the lowest low divided by two. Although the calculation is similar, the Kijun takes the past 22 time periods into account.

Now let's take a look at the most important component, the Ichimoku "cloud", which represents current and historical price action. It behaves in much the same way as simple support and resistance by creating formative barriers. The last two components of the Ichimoku application are:

3. Senkou Span A - The sum of the Tenkan Sen and the Kijun Sen divided by two. The calculation is then plotted 26 time periods ahead of the current price action.

4. Senkou Span B - The sum of the highest high and the lowest low divided by two. This calculation is taken over the past 44 time periods and is plotted 22 periods ahead.

Once plotted on the chart, the area between the two lines is referred to as the Kumo, or cloud. Comparatively thicker than your run-of-the-mill support and resistance lines, the cloud offers the trader a thorough filter. Instead of giving the trader a visually thin price level for support and resistance, the thicker cloud will tend to take the volatility of the currency markets into account. A break through the cloud and a subsequent move above or below it will suggest a better and more probable trade. Let's take a look Figure 2's comparison.

To Recap:

1. Refer To The Kijun / Tenkan Cross - The potential crossover in both lines will act in similar fashion to the more recognized moving average crossover. This technical occurrence is great for isolating moves in the price action.

2. Confirm Down / Uptrend With Chikou - Confirming that the market sentiment is in line with the crossover will increase the probability of the trade as it acts in similar fashion with a momentum oscillator.

3. Price Action Should Break Through The Cloud - The impending down/uptrend should make a clear break through of the cloud of resistance/support. This decision will increase the probability of the trade working in the trader's favor.

4. Follow Money Management When Placing Entries - By adhering to strict money management rules, the trader will be able to balance risk/reward ratios and control the position.

The Round Up
This indicator is intimidating at first, but once the Ichimoku chart is broken down, every trader from novice to advanced will find the application helpful. Not only does it mesh three indicators into one, but it also offers a more filtered approach to the price action for the currency trader. Additionally, this approach will not only increase the probability of the trade in the FX markets, but will assist in isolating only the true momentum plays. This is opposed to riskier trades where the position has a chance of trading back former profits.

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