There’s a wide range of technical analysis (TA) tools and indicators that traders may use to try and predict future price action. These may include complete market analysis frameworks, such as the Wyckoff Method, Elliott Wave Theory, or the Dow Theory. They can also be indicators, such as Moving Averages, the Relative Strength Index (RSI), Stochastic RSI, Bollinger Bands, Ichimoku Clouds, Parabolic SAR, or the MACD.
The Fibonacci retracement tool is a popular indicator used by thousands of traders in the stock markets, forex, and cryptocurrency markets. Fascinatingly, it’s based on the Fibonacci sequence discovered more than 700 years ago.
What is Fibonacci retracement?
Fibonacci retracement (or Fib retracement) is a tool used by technical analysts and traders in an attempt to predict areas of interest on a chart. They do so by using Fibonacci ratios as percentages. The Fib retracement tool is derived from a string of numbers identified by mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci in the 13th century. This string is called the Fibonacci sequence. Certain mathematical relationships between numbers in this sequence create ratios that are then plotted to a chart. These ratios are:
While technically not a Fibonacci ratio, some traders also consider the 50% level to have some significance, as it represents the midpoint of the price range. Fibonacci ratios outside of the 0-100% range may also be used, such as 161.8%, 261.8% or 423.6%.
How to use Fibonacci retracement
Now that we know what the Fibonacci retracement tool is and how it works, let’s consider its use as a tool in the financial markets.
Typically, the tool is drawn between two significant price points, such as a high and a low. This range is then used as a basis for further analysis. Usually, the tool is used for mapping out levels inside of the range, but it may also provide insights into important price levels outside of the range.
Typically, this range is drawn according to the underlying trend. So, in an uptrend, the low point would be the 1 (or 100%), while the high point would be 0 (0%). By drawing Fib retracement lines over an uptrend, traders can get an idea of potential support levels that may be tested in case the market starts to retrace – hence the term retracement.