There’s a variation to the corrective ‘FLAT’ pattern that R.N. Elliott documented which causes some confusion in identification. Fortunately, it’s quite rare though. It’s called a ‘SLANTING FLAT’. Like the ‘horizontal’, ‘running’ and ‘expanding’ flat’s it subdivides the same, as a 3-3-5 sequence but with some slight differences.
In a horizontal flat, waves A-B-C oscillate within almost-exact horizontal/parallel lines – in an expanding flat, wave A establishes an initial trading range, but waves B and C marginally exceed wave A upon completion – and finally, the running flat where waves A and B conform to the same movements as the expanding flat except that wave C falls short of ending towards the completion of wave A – see fig #1.
But the ‘SLANTING FLAT’ is a bit of a hybrid of these other patterns. Wave A establishes the trading range-extremity whilst subdividing into a three wave zig zag (can also unfold into a double/triple zig zag). But when wave B begins to unfold, it doesn’t equal or break above the original level of wave A – rather, it falls short. It does subdivide into a three wave zig zag though (can also unfold into a double/triple zig zag). Here’s the interesting bit – the next sequence as wave C unfolds into a five wave impulse pattern and it exceeds the completion of wave A. Sounds simple enough, but here’s the ‘rub’ – how can this be differentiated between a developing double zig zag pattern, i.e. A-B-C-X-A-B-C, 5-3-5-X-5-3-5? The same subdivisions for the ‘slanting flat’occur up until the sequence A-B-C-X-A...waves B-C are missing.
There’s only one certain way to differentiate between a completed ‘slanting flat’ and a developing double zig zag and that’s cross-referencing the pattern with other contracts/markets – there’s a good chance the pattern is unfolding differently but is less ambiguous.
For what it’s worth, GBP/US$ has just completed a real-time ‘SLANTING FLAT’ pattern – see fig #2. R.N. Elliott’s original template is inserted top-right. Labelled in minuette degree, [a]-[b]-[c], note that wave [a] subdivides into a required zig zag ending at 1.3980 and how wave [b] doesn’t quite make it to wave [a]’s origin of 1.4345 instead ending short at 1.4278 (a retracement of 81.6%). In reality, the 1.4278 high could have ended wave [x] within a developing double zig zag. The following five wave impulse decline to 1.3836 is labelled as ending wave [c] of the slanting flat but could be mistaken for wave [a] within a secondary zig zag. A comparative look at the Euro/US$ confirms the slanting flat because it has synchronously completed a double zig zag at the same time GBP/US$ traded to 1.3836.
Our proprietary use of fib-price-ratios also comes in useful in verifying the completion of a slanting flat rather than a developing double zig zag pattern. Extending wave [a] by a fib. 38.2% ratio projects a terminal low for wave [c] to 1.3843+/-, the actual low was 1.3836.
Yes, it is still possible to conclude the following rally from 1.3836 to 1.4067 in GBP/USD is wave [b] of the secondary zig zag within a double formation but again, analysis must be cross-referenced to other positively-correlated contracts/markets.
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