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How To Avoid False Breakouts In Forex

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To avoid false breakouts in Forex, traders should use multiple timeframes, look for other signs of strength, and use technical indicators to confirm a potential breakout. It is also important to exercise patience and wait for confirmation before entering a trade, and to use a stop loss to limit potential losses. These strategies can help traders increase their chances of avoiding false breakouts and making successful trades in Forex.

false breakouts in forex avoid

Are you tired of falling into the trap of false breakouts in forex trading? Do you feel frustrated with the lack of momentum in price movements through support or resistance levels?

You’re not alone.

False breakouts can be a common problem for traders, but there are ways to mitigate the risk and protect your investments.

False Breakout Trading Strategy

Let’s get right to it….

This strategy involves identifying key support or resistance levels on higher time frames and then looking for chart patterns on lower time frames that suggest a potential breakout. By waiting for confirmation from momentum indicators and entering positions with appropriate stop losses, traders can capture significant price movements while minimizing risk.

This approach emphasizes the importance of waiting for a candle close above or below key levels to increase the odds of profit. By focusing on momentum and waiting for confirmation, this false breakout trading strategy helps traders avoid, but not eliminate failed trades.

Of course, there is no sure thing in Forex trading, but by incorporating additional requirements into your trading plan – such as using higher time frames – you can reduce the chances of falling victim to false breakouts.

Remember: patience is key when waiting for a close outside of a level to validate your setup.


  1. Identify a key support or resistance level on a higher time frame, such as the daily chart.
  2. Switch to a lower time frame, such as the 1-hour chart, and wait for a strong price movement towards the identified support or resistance level.
  3. Look for a candlestick pattern that suggests a potential breakout, such as a hammer or shooting star or basing under resistance/above support
  4. Enter a long or short position, depending on the direction of the breakout, when the price breaks above or below the identified support or resistance level, with confirmation from a momentum indicator such as the RSI or MACD.
  5. Place a stop loss below or above the breakout level to limit potential losses.
  6. Take profits at a predetermined level, such as the next significant support or resistance level.

This is a great example of putting the odds in your favor when it comes to avoiding a false breakout.  The most vital thing is to see some type of bullish action prior to the breakout on the lower time frame.

What is a False Breakout?

False breakouts occur when the market fails to produce enough supply or demand to validate a break of key support and resistance levels. They are frustrating for traders because they can lead to losses even when it seems like they have a solid trading plan in place.

fasle breakouts

To avoid falling victim to false breakouts, some traders wait for a close above or below key levels before entering trades, use higher time frames for more reliable setups, and always consider the risk-reward ratio before entering any position. Incorporating these strategies into your trading plan can help you protect yourself against false breakout losses.

Understanding Breakouts in Forex Trading:

To understand a false breakout, traders must first comprehend the concept of a regular breakout. A breakout occurs when the price of a currency pair breaks a significant pricing level, such as support or resistance, and continues moving in the same direction.

good breakout

For instance, if a currency pair is experiencing an upward movement, it will be in a position to break its resistance level and maintain its upward trend. A good definition is:  breakout refers to the point when the price moves beyond the previously established ranges.

Reasons for False Breakouts in Forex Trading

False breakouts occur for different reasons, including low trading volume and market manipulation. However, the primary reason is the lack of momentum, which is why many traders refer to false breakouts as “fakeouts.”

When a currency pair breaks a support or resistance level due to low trading volume, it fails to maintain its trajectory because the movement is not as strong.

Recognizing False Breakouts in Forex Trading

Recognizing false breakouts is essential in Forex trading. A trader can use several technical indicators and charts to determine whether a breakout is real or false. One common technique is examining the trading volume (look at FX futures). If the price moves beyond a support or resistance level on low trading volume, the trader can expect a false breakout.

Another strategy is to use price action analysis. Traders can look at the previous price levels and observe whether they’re consistent with the current trend. If the price appears to move differently from previous trends, there’s a high possibility of a false breakout.

Consider looking for strong bullish or bearish candlesticks on the breakout.


These types of candlesticks show a strong bullish presence and while not a guarantee of a breakout, it is a good sign.  Price may pause after this and you want to monitor for more buying pressure over the next several periods.

Don’t Get Fooled

Navigating the market and achieving success requires a strategic approach that minimizes the chances of failed price movements. One simple trick is to wait for a close above or below a significant level on higher time frames. This produces more reliable setups and increases your chances of success.

It is also important to keep in mind that the market often retests former support or resistance levels after a break. So, before entering a trade, wait for confirmation instead of jumping in blindly. To further reduce the chances of false breakouts and protect against unnecessary losses, add an additional requirement to your trading plan.

breakout retest

Remember, momentum is the key to forex trading success. Waiting for a close outside of the level can validate your setup and increase your chances of profit. By following these tips and tricks, you can avoid getting fooled by false breakouts and increase your chances of success in the market.

Using Different Timeframes

By incorporating varying timeframes into your forex trading strategy, you can gain a clearer picture of trends and increase the potential for profitable trades.  For instance, using higher time frames such as daily or 4-hour charts as we did in our strategy, can provide more reliable setups and reduce the risk of false breakouts.

Waiting for a candle close outside of the key level before entering a trade can also validate the setup and mitigate losses. Additionally, considering market momentum and waiting for multiple factors in favor of a breakout can further enhance your chances of success.  The issue with waiting for the close of the candlestick is it may be a wide range candle.  This will force a larger stop than you may be comfortable with.

However, it’s important to note that no strategy is foolproof and there is always some risk involved in forex trading.

Using MACD Indicator

The MACD or Moving Average Convergence Divergence is a popular tool used by traders to measure momentum in market movement. It can be particularly helpful in avoiding false breakouts when used in conjunction with higher time frames.


By analyzing the difference between two moving averages, the MACD can indicate whether momentum is building or waning, helping traders to confirm breakouts and avoid entering trades during periods of low momentum. Using the MACD along with waiting for close above or below key levels on higher time frames can significantly reduce the risk of false breakouts and increase profitability.

In our example we were not seeing divergence and were seeing bullish indications on both the daily and the hourly chart.

Patience is KING (or Queen)

Embracing patience is crucial in Forex trading if you want to avoid being fooled by market fluctuations and losing money. Here are four reasons why:

  1. Rushing into trades can lead to false breakouts and unnecessary losses
  2. Waiting for confirmation on higher time frames (like the daily chart) increases the reliability of setups
  3. Key levels often experience retests after breaks, allowing patient traders to enter at better prices
  4. practicing patience also allows traders to spot wedge patterns that can lead to profitable setups

So don’t let impatience drive your trading decisions – take the time to wait for solid confirmations at key levels and improve your chances of success.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you avoid false breakouts in trading?

To avoid false breakouts in Forex trading, use technical indicators like moving averages and RSI, confirm the breakout with volume analysis (look at futures), and wait for a retest of the breakout level before entering a trade, ensuring the move is genuine.

What are the factors that lead to fakeouts in the forex market?

Factors leading to fakeouts in the forex market include market noise, high-frequency trading, and news-driven volatility, which can cause temporary price fluctuations that mimic genuine breakouts but ultimately revert to the initial trading range.

What is the approach to trading a false breakout?

The approach to trading a false breakout involves identifying the fakeout, waiting for the price to re-enter the initial trading range, and executing a trade in the direction of the range, capitalizing on the reversal as the market returns to its previous levels.

What is the failure rate of breakout trades?

The failure rate of breakout trades can vary but research suggests they can fail up to 70% of the time, emphasizing the importance of risk management, trade selection, and employing proper confirmation techniques to increase the probability of success.  Actual failure rates may vary depending on the specific strategy, market conditions, and the trader’s skill level.

What distinguishes a genuine breakout from a false one?

A genuine breakout is distinguished from a false one by factors such as strong trading volume, a clear break of a key support or resistance level, and confirmation from additional technical indicators, which together indicate a higher likelihood of a sustained new trend or price movement.

What is the concept of a breakout strategy in trading?

The concept of a breakout strategy in trading involves entering a trade when the price moves beyond a defined support or resistance level, signaling the potential start of a new trend or significant price movement, allowing traders to capitalize on the subsequent momentum.


Congratulations! You have now learned how to protect yourself against false breakouts in the forex market. By identifying their characteristics, using different timeframes and indicators, and using patience, you can minimize the risk of losing money due to these frustrating events.

However, as with any strategy, there is always a level of risk involved. As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said: “The only constant in life is change.” The same goes for the forex market. Even with all your precautions and strategies in place, unexpected events can still occur that may lead to false breakouts.

With enough practice and determination, you will eventually become a successful trader who knows how to handle even the most challenging market conditions.

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