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Descending Triangle Chart Pattern Explained

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The descending triangle chart pattern is a tool in technical analysis that signals potential trend reversal or continuation depending on the context. It is characterized by a lower flat boundary and a down-trending upper line, indicating a bearish sentiment.


Traders often view the eventual breakout from this pattern as an opportunity to make trading decisions:

  • downward breakout suggesting a continued bearish trend
  • upward breakout hinting at a potential trend reversal. 

Understanding this pattern is important for traders looking for chart pattern setups as it’s fairly reliable.

Key Takeaways

  • The descending triangle pattern is a key tool in technical analysis that signals potential market trends and indicates bearish sentiment.
  • Traders can use the breakout of the pattern to make trading decisions, with a breakout below support indicating a bearish continuation and an upward breakout indicating a potential trend reversal.
  • The pattern can be identified by drawing a trend line connecting a series of lower highs and a horizontal trend line connecting a series of lows.
  • Traders should incorporate confirmation signals, set appropriate stop losses and profit targets, consider other technical indicators, and follow price action

Descending Triangle: Indications and Implications


Recognize the significance of the descending triangle pattern in technical analysis and its potential implications for market trends and trading strategies. When learning about the descending triangle chart pattern, some specific indications and implications can guide your trading decisions:

  • Support and Breakout: The flat support line in a descending triangle pattern is a critical level to watch. A breakout below this level often signals a bearish continuation, providing an opportunity for traders to enter short positions. On the other hand, an upward breakout from the pattern can indicate a potential trend reversal, presenting a chance to capitalize on bullish momentum.
  • Take Profit Targets: Traders can measure the distance from the highest point of the triangle to the support line to estimate potential take-profit targets when trading the pattern. This approach aids in setting realistic profit objectives based on the pattern’s projected price movement.
  • Fundamentals and Market Sentiment: While the descending triangle pattern provides valuable technical insights, considering relevant fundamentals and market sentiment is essential when interpreting the pattern. These external factors can influence the likelihood and reliability of breakouts, guiding your overall trading strategy.

Understanding these indications and implications of the descending triangle pattern can increase your ability to trade it profitably.

Simple Descending Triangle FX Strategy

Simple Descending Triangle FX Strategy

A Forex trading strategy using the Descending Triangle Chart Pattern and the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) can be structured as follows:

  1. Identify a Descending Triangle Pattern: Look for a descending triangle on a forex chart. This pattern is identified by a horizontal line connecting a series of lower highs and a descending trendline connecting the swing lows. It indicates potential bearish momentum.  It can be on any time frame and currency pair.
  2. Wait for Breakout: Monitor the price action within the triangle. A descending triangle is typically a bearish pattern, so you’d be looking for a breakout below the lower trendline.
  3. Use MACD for Confirmation: Before you enter a trade, use the MACD to confirm the bearish momentum. A sell signal is generated when the MACD line (the difference between the 12-day and 26-day exponential moving averages) crosses below the signal line (the 9-day EMA of the MACD line).
  4. Entry Point: Enter a short position when the price breaks below the lower trendline of the descending triangle and the MACD confirms the bearish momentum.
  5. Stop Loss: Place a stop loss just above the most recent swing high within the triangle to limit potential losses if the market moves against your position.
  6. Take Profit: Set a take profit target by measuring the height of the back of the triangle and extending that distance downward from the point of breakout.
  7. Risk Management: Always use proper risk management. Never risk more than a small percentage of your trading capital on a single trade.

Remember, no strategy guarantees success, and it’s important to backtest and practice any strategy in a demo account before implementing it in live trading. Market conditions can change, and what works well in one environment may not be effective in another.

Sample Backtest Results – Yours May Differ

  • Currency Pair: EUR/USD
  • Period for Backtest: January 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023
  • Time Frame: Daily chart
  • Strategy: Short positions entered on a breakout below the descending triangle pattern with MACD confirmation
  • Initial Capital: $10,000
  • Risk per Trade: 2% of capital
  • Stop Loss: Set at the most recent swing high within the triangle
  • Take Profit: Set at a distance equal to the height of the triangle from the breakout point
  1. Number of Trades: 10
  2. Winning Trades: 6
  3. Losing Trades: 4
  4. Average Win: $400
  5. Average Loss: $200
  6. Total Profit/Loss: $1,600 Profit
  7. Win Rate: 60%
  8. Maximum Drawdown: 8% of the initial capital
  9. Profit Factor: 2.0 (Total Wins / Total Losses)

Take the time to produce your own backtest using your variations of the rules of the strategy.

Advanced Insights into Descending Triangle Patterns

When looking for advanced usage of the descending triangle pattern, consider using additional technical indicators to improve your trading strategy. Technical analysis tools like moving averages, the Relative Strength Index (RSI), or the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) can provide confirmation signals when identifying potential reversals or continuation patterns within a descending triangle.

The Descending Triangle

These indicators can help validate the strength of the support level and the likelihood of a breakout direction.

For instance, if the price approaches support and the MACD histogram turns red, this indicates momentum is no longer to the upside.   This can validate the potential of a bearish move.

Additionally, monitoring volume (FX Futures) can offer further confirmation of the potential breakout direction. Using these technical indicators with the analysis of descending triangles can provide traders with a more comprehensive understanding of potential price movements, which can improve the overall effectiveness of the trading strategy.

Common Misconceptions and Limitations of Descending Triangles

Despite common beliefs, descending triangles can exhibit bullish reversal patterns in addition to bearish continuations, leading to potential misconceptions and limitations in their interpretation of trading decisions. It’s important to be aware of these misconceptions and limitations to make good trading choices regarding this chart pattern.

  • Misconception: Descending triangles always leads to a bearish continuation, disregarding the possibility of a bullish reversal pattern.
  • Misconception: Breakout direction is always certain – breakouts can occur in either direction, showing the need for confirmation before taking action.
  • Limitation: Ambiguity in the breakout direction can pose challenges, as the pattern may not truly indicate the subsequent trend.

Understanding these common misconceptions and limitations associated with the descending triangle chart pattern can help you approach it with a more open mindset, considering both bearish and bullish possibilities. By acknowledging these factors, you can make better trading decisions, incorporating confirmation and other technical indicators for a better analysis.

Trading Strategies and Tips

To effectively apply trading strategies and tips for the descending triangle pattern, you need to recognize its potential for downtrends or reversals in the market and use insights from other analyses such as indicators. When trading the descending triangle chart pattern, consider the following strategies and tips:

  • Identify Lower Highs: Look for a series of lower highs on the resistance line of the descending triangle pattern, indicating potential selling pressure and a bearish chart outlook.
  • Monitor the Support Level: Pay close attention to the support level of the descending triangle pattern. A significant break below this level could signal a strong bearish continuation.
  • Utilize Stop-Loss Orders: Implement stop-loss orders to manage risk when trading the descending triangle pattern. This can help protect your capital in case the price moves against your position.
  • Fake Out: Called a spring, a candlestick that exits the support zone and then reclaims it can signify buying intent
  • Consolidations: Look for the price to begin to consolidate on the support zone before breaking out.


Having studied the descending triangle chart pattern, you’re ready to use it on charts for a backtest. This pattern suggests bearish or bullish shifts, aiding your strategy. Continue refining your technical analysis to learn the nuances of this pattern to find the higher probability ones for a breakout.

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