Pivot Points, one of the basic and most important technical tools and the important one, is in the was used long before the era of computerized trading. The mathematical calculation of various support and resistance levels, based on the high, the low and the closing prices of the previous period, was initially used by floor traders in order to trade efficiently. The indicator was strong enough to be considered for included in technical analysis, resulting it to be and as a result you can find it present in the majority of trading platform. The basic use purpose of Pivot Points (PP) is to determine the important support and resistance levels. It is also used to determine market sentiment: as during the trending market,when the market is trending prices would will fluctuate from support PP to resistance PP, while in times of whereas when the market is directionless or ranging market, prices usually fluctuate around two PPs until a breakout happens. If prices are trading above the pivot point it is considered to carry bullish sentiment, while trading below the pivot point usually suggests indicates bearish sentiment. Moreover, Pivot Points are also an important technical tool for placing trade orders.

Calculation

Although there are several methods for calculating Pivot Points, the most common of them is the Standard Pivot Point system. It uses the simple arithmetic average of the high, the low and the closing prices of the previous trading period in order to determine the Pivot Point, i.e. the very base for calculating various support (S) and resistance (R) levels. Daily PPs are usually calculated based on the New York closing time, i.e. 16.00 EST (22.00 CEST).
 

  • Pivot point (PP) = (High + Low + Close) / 3
  • First resistance (R1) = (2 x PP) – Low
  • First support (S1) = (2 x PP) - High
  • Second level of support and resistance:
  • Second resistance (R2) = PP + (High - Low)
  • Second support (S2) = PP - (High - Low)
  • Third level of support and resistance:
  • Third resistance (R3) = High + 2(PP - Low)
  • Third support (S3) = Low - 2(High - PP)


Types of Pivot Points

This mathematical calculation applies only to Standard PPs.. With the invention of computerized trading a lot of other PPs have been developed to assist traders:

Standard PP indicators: The very basic Pivot Point calculation starts with the Standard PP Indicators that are identical to the ones described above. These Pivot Points are the corner stone for the rest of the PP calculations. Even though the Standard PP is very helpful, it still has its own limitations as it is a mathematical calculation that sometimes misses the important support and resistance levels. In the example below, we can see six potential Standard PPs plotted on a EURUSD H1 chart.

Pivot Points

Fibonacci PPs: Fibonacci Pivot Points are an extension of the standard PPs where Fibonacci multiples of the high-low differential are considered to form various support (S) and resistance (R) levels. You can calculate the Fibonacci PPs in the following way:

 

 

  • Pivot Point (PP) = (High + Low + Close)/3
  • Support 1 (S1) = P - {.382 * (High - Low)}
  • Support 2 (S2) = P - {.618 * (High - Low)}
  • Support 3 (S3) = P - {1 * (High - Low)}
  • Resistance 1 (R1) = P + {.382 * (High - Low)}
  • Resistance 2 (R2) = P + {.618 * (High - Low)}
  • Resistance 3 (R3) = P + {1 * (High - Low)


In the example below, we can see six potential Fibonacci PPs plotted on a EURUSD H1 chart. Even though the Fibonacci levels are blend with Pivot Points, these Fibonacci PPs are unable to mark all the important support and resistance levels.

Pivot Points

Hourly PP: These pivot levels are accurate enough for smaller time frames and can help traders capitalize on the little movements of the pair. Hence, Hourly Pivot Points are mainly used for Scalping. The Basic Calculations are as simple as the standard time frame but in this case the high, the low and the closing prices of the previous hour are considered in plotting various support and resistance points. In the example below, we can see six potential Hourly PPs plotted on a EURUSD M15 chart. We can see that major supports and resistances took place near the Hourly PPs, which proves the importance of this indicator. Due to the perfection in smaller timeframes, these PPs become less helpful while plotting on higher time frames (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, etc.).

Pivot Points

WOODIE Pivot Point: While all the mentioned PPs consider only the high, the low and the closing prices for calculation, Woodie Pivot Points consider all the four indicators for movement: open, high, low and closing prices. High and low prices usually show the extreme moods of traders and hence fail to mark the important levels. Open and closing prices are considered to represent traders’ intentions more accurately, which makes Woodie Pivot Point popular among traders. The following EURUSD M15 chart describes major support and resistance levels covered by the Woodie PP. Despite all the advantages, the simplicity of the Woodie PP makes it less famous than, for example, Camarilla or Murray Math PP. In addition to that the Woodie PP doesn’t propose any strategy as other advanced PP do, which also makes it less useful for big banks and professional traders.

Pivot Points

Murrey Math PP: One more technical indicator based on the Pivot Point is Murrey Math. It tackles with a lot of limitations of Standard, Hourly and Fibonacci PPs. and is widely used by professional traders and big banks. The indicator is divided into eight lines that mark multiple support and resistance levels. It also mentions the major reversing point (Line 4/4) and the Ultimate Support and Ultimate Resistance lines (line 0/8 and line 8/8 respectively). As you can notice on a EURUSD M15 chart below, the major support and resistance levels are covered by the Murrey Math PP. The indicator divides the chart in nine equidistant lines, from the bottom are at the levels 0/8, 1/8, 2/8, 3/8, 4/8, 5/8, 6/8, 7/8 and 8/8. The mentioned PP lines can indicate when to go long/short as well as important stop-loss and take profit points.

Pivot Points

Camarilla: Camarilla is one more advanced PP indicator which helps traders in Scalping and Day trading. It is also one of the renowned technical indicators for professional traders at big financial institutions and banks. It is a price-based indicator for defining the trading levels. Each point calls for specific actions and hence becomes different from the rest of the PPs. The mentioned PP lines can indicate when to go long/short as well as where important stop-loss and take profit points are. You can calculate various levels with Camilla Technical Indicator in the following way:
H5 = (High/Low) × Close
H4 = Close + RANGE × 1.1/2
H3 = Close + RANGE × 1.1/4
L3 = Close – RANGE × 1.1/4
L4 = Close – RANGE × 1.1/2
L5 = Close – (H5 – Close)
The following H1 EURUSD chart describes how Camarilla marked the important support and resistance levels together proposing important trading strategies.

Pivot Points

Concluding Remarks
Contrary to the popular perception, pivot points don’t only calculate various support and resistance levels, but also offer some valuable trading strategies. Furthermore, various types of PPs help traders in capitalizing on the movement of different currency pairs. Moreover, using only Pivot Points for confirmation is not enough for making a wise trading decision. It should also be backed by other technical indicators like, moving averages, RSI, MACD, etc.

 

 

Information on these pages contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Markets and instruments profiled on this page are for informational purposes only and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy or sell in these assets. You should do your own thorough research before making any investment decisions. FXStreet does not in any way guarantee that this information is free from mistakes, errors, or material misstatements. It also does not guarantee that this information is of a timely nature. Investing in Open Markets involves a great deal of risk, including the loss of all or a portion of your investment, as well as emotional distress. All risks, losses and costs associated with investing, including total loss of principal, are your responsibility. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of FXStreet nor its advertisers.

Education feed

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD challenges weekly lows after mixed Durable Goods Orders

US Durable Goods Orders were up a measly 0.4% in August, missing expectations of 1.0%, although Nondefense Capital Goods Orders ex Aircraft jumped 1.8%. Equities bounce from lows, but the dollar maintains its strength.

EUR/USD News

GBP/USD reverses below 1.2750 amid US dollar comeback

GBP/USD extends the retreat below 1.2750, as the US dollar makes a comeback amid a cautious market mood. The cable briefly regained 1.28 after an EU official reportedly said that the tide may be turning despite no big breakthroughs. 

GBP/USD News

USD/JPY: Heading higher on dollar’s comeback

US Congress revived discussions on a new stimulus package to aid the economy. The focus shifts now to US August Durable Goods Orders. USD/JPY pressuring weekly highs and poised to advance towards 106.25.

USD/JPY News

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD challenges weekly lows after mixed Durable Goods Orders

US Durable Goods Orders were up a measly 0.4% in August, missing expectations of 1.0%, although Nondefense Capital Goods Orders ex Aircraft jumped 1.8%. Equities bounce from lows, but the dollar maintains its strength.

EUR/USD News

GBP/USD reverses below 1.2750 amid US dollar comeback

GBP/USD extends the retreat below 1.2750, as the US dollar makes a comeback amid a cautious market mood. The cable briefly regained 1.28 after an EU official reportedly said that the tide may be turning despite no big breakthroughs. 

GBP/USD News

USD/JPY: Heading higher on dollar’s comeback

US Congress revived discussions on a new stimulus package to aid the economy. The focus shifts now to US August Durable Goods Orders. USD/JPY pressuring weekly highs and poised to advance towards 106.25.

USD/JPY News

BTC/USD is on the verge of a massive breakout towards $10,000 or $8,000

Bitcoin has already lost a significant portion of its dominance against other altcoins. After trading sideways for such a long time, many coins are taking advantage of the situation to create massive rallies. 

Read more

Gold on the defensive, below $1870 level amid stronger USD

Gold struggled to capitalize on the previous day’s modest bounce from two-month lows. The prevalent USD buying interest capped the upside for the dollar-denominated commodity. A turnaround in the equity markets, sliding US bond yields might help limit deeper losses.

Gold News

RECOMMENDED LESSONS

7 Ways to Avoid Forex Scams

The forex industry is recently seeing more and more scams. Here are 7 ways to avoid losing your money in such scams: Forex scams are becoming frequent. Michael Greenberg reports on luxurious expenses, including a submarine bought from the money taken from forex traders. Here’s another report of a forex fraud. So, how can we avoid falling in such forex scams?

What Are the 10 Fatal Mistakes Traders Make

Trading is exciting. Trading is hard. Trading is extremely hard. Some say that it takes more than 10,000 hours to master. Others believe that trading is the way to quick riches. They might be both wrong. What is important to know that no matter how experienced you are, mistakes will be part of the trading process.

Strategy

Money Management

Psychology