MTFA: Multiple Time Frame Analysis in Forex Trading

There are numerous sorts of Forex investigation. Most traders will probably understand about fundamental analysis, market opinion, and technical investigation. There’s still another sort of investigation that may be overlooked sometimes, however is something which a lot of, or even , traders will probably have come around at a time – specially, individuals interested in technical investigation, and also this is Forex Multiple Time Frame Analysis (MTFA). This form of investigation is readily abandoned by traders since they pursue more special markets.

MTFA: Multiple Time Frame Analysis in Forex Trading

When embarking Being a momentum trader, a
Day trader, a conference risk trader, or even perhaps a break out trader, most participants in this marketplace shed sight of their larger tendency and might overlook evident heights of aid and immunity, and might also don’t detect high chances entry-stop ranges. The overall point of this guide is to research what multiple time frame FX investigation stands out for and the best way to comprehend it.

What is the Meaning of Multiple Time Frame Analysis?

Multiple time period evaluation (or even MTF) in Forex trading entails tracking exactly the exact same
Currency set across many different frequencies, also referred to as timing compressions. MTF trading really is a procedure for looking in to different timeframes and aligning both fashion, gain, and management. As there’s not any true maximum about how a lot of the frequencies might be tracked, or that ones to decide on, you can find quite typical instructions that nearly all traders follow along.

Implementing three distinct phases is normally enough to deliver a broad enough reading available on the marketplace. Applying under that may lead to a significant loss of information, whilst using greater on average provides insignificant analysis. Whenever deciding upon the 3 period frequencies, a straightforward plan is to stick to the principle of four.

This suggests that a predetermined interval has to be identified, plus it needs to exemplify a benchmark compared to just how long that the ordinary trade is already held. From that point, a briefer period of period needs to be selected, also it has to be atleast a quarter of this intermediate span. As an example, a 15-minute graph for your own brief-term period frame, and also a 60-minute graph for its moderate time period.

Employing precisely the same calculation, in line with multiple time period trading, the longterm time period has to be four times more compared to the average person. Thereby preserving the above example, the 240-minute or even 4-hour graph would round from the 3 period .

It’s vital to pick the ideal timeframe when selecting the assortment of those 3 phases. A longterm Forex trader that holds certain places for weeks will discover little use for 60 second, 15 second, and 240 instant mixes. Conversely a-day FX trader who holds positions all day and barely more than the usual day could obtain advantage at daily, weekly, or yearly agreements.

MTFA: Multiple Time Frame Analysis in Forex Trading

Source: MarketWatch – An Instance of multiple time frame analysis – EURUSD Chart

The Appliance of Long-term Time Frames

We’ve covered the essentials of multiple time frame analysis from Forex, therefore today we’ll have a look at how to employ it into the FX market right back. With this particular process of analyzing graphs, it’s typically a fantastic idea in the first place a long time time period, then work to one additional frequencies. By detecting a longterm time period, the prevailing tendency can be created.

It’s very important to not forget the most too used aphorism in trading with this particular frequency – that the tendency is your companion. Arrangements shouldn’t be implemented with this particular broad angled graph, the trades which can be recorded should be at precisely the exact same way as the fad.

This doesn’t actually mean that trades cannot be taken against the larger trend, however, those that are will most likely have a considerably lower probability of success, and the profit target will be smaller than if it was moving forward in the direction of the general trend. Make sure to take that into account when trading multiple time frames.

In the currency markets – when the long-term frame of time has different periods such as daily, weekly, or monthly – fundamentals tend to have a substantial impact on direction. Therefore, a FX trader has the task of monitoring the main economic trends when following the overall trend on this frame of time.

Whether the key economic concern is current account shortages, consumer spending, business investment, or any other list of influences, those developments should be tracked to much better understand the direction in price action. This is one of the primary multiple time frame analysis techniques.

Another contemplation for a higher frame of time in this range is in fact interest rates. Often used as a reflection of an economy’s health, the interest rate is an essential element in pricing exchange rates. Under most circumstances, the capital will flow toward the currency with the higher rate in a pair, as this relates to much greater returns on investments.

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The Appliance of Medium-term Time Frames

Now we will move onto the next step of our guide for multiple time frame analysis in the Forex market. We’ll look at the medium time frame with smaller movements within the broader trend becoming more recognisable. That is the most flexible of the three frequencies, due to the fact that the sense of both the longer-term and the short-term frames can be acquired from this level. As we have previously mentioned, the anticipated holding period for an average trade should determine this anchor for the time frame range. As a matter of fact, this level is the most often followed chart when planning a trade.

The Appliance of Short-term Time Frames

There are certain trades that should be performed on the short-term time frame. When smaller fluctuations in price action become clearer, a Forex trader is better able to select an attractive entry for a position, whose direction has already been identified by the charts of higher frequency.

Perhaps another important consideration for this period is that fundamentals once again substantially affect price action in these charts, though in a very different way than they do for the higher time frames. Fundamental trends are no longer visible when charts are under a four hour frequency.

Consider the following when applying multiple time frame analysis – the short-term frame will reply with enlarged volatility to those
FX indicators that are dubbed ‘market-moving ‘. The more granulated this lower time frame is, the greater the reaction to economic indicators will actually seem.

Most of the time, those sharp movements last for a short time and as such, are occasionally described as noise. Nevertheless, an FX trader will frequently avoid making poor trades on these interim imbalances, as they keep an eye on the progression of the other time frames.

MTFA: Multiple Time Frame Analysis in Forex Trading

Source: MetaTrader 4 – A GBP/USD 4 Hour chart and a GBP/USD Daily chart being analysed side-by-side.

The Result of Putting All Time Frames Together

When all three time frames are combined to assess a currency pair, a Forex trader can easily enhance the odds of success for a trade. Executing the top-down analysis encourages trading with relatively larger trends. In fact, this alone lowers risk because there is a higher possibility that price action will, in the end, continue on the longer trend.

By utilising this theory, the level of confidence in a trade should be evaluated by how the multiple time frames align. For instance, if the larger trend is to the upside but the intermediate-term and short-term trends are moving lower, cautious shorts have to be taken, with rational profit targets, as well as stops. As an alternative, an FX trader may wait until a bearish wave runs its direction on the lower frequency charts, and may then aim to go long at a satisfying level when the three time frames align once more.

Another benefit of integrating Forex multiple time frames into analysing trades is the capability to determine support and resistance readings, as well as strong entry-exit levels. The chance of success for a trade is enhanced when it is followed exactly on a short-term chart, owing to the ability for a trader to keep away from poor entry prices, senseless targets, and ill-placed stops.

Filtering Out Bad Setups

When trading on lower time frames (e.g.15-minute charts) it is not always clear which triggers and setups have a better chance of success. Sometimes, setups look pretty much identical, but why do some work out well, while others fail? It is interesting that the result tends to be the same regardless of the tool or indicator used or tested.

Luckily, there is good news. Multiple time frame (MTF) analysis helps professional traders to filter out weaker setups. For instance, in the following example, the trader was contemplating taking an EUR/USD short setup on a 15-minute chart. The down trend seemed well-established, and a continuation after the bearish break was a setup worth considering, as is evident in the chart provided below:

MTFA: Multiple Time Frame Analysis in Forex Trading

Source: MetaTrader 5 Supreme Edition – EUR/USD 15-minute chart – Data Range: 3 April, 2018 – 4 April, 2018

This was a setup worth considering until the trader saw higher time frames, such as the 4h and daily charts, which clearly indicated that the bearish trend (on the 15 min chart) was lacking space. Clear and heavy support was close by, and the odds of such a trade working out were lower. It was therefore time to skip this setup and focus on other trading opportunities. The chart below provides an example of 4h and daily charts:

MTFA: Multiple Time Frame Analysis in Forex Trading

Source: MetaTrader 5 Supreme Edition – EUR/USD 4H and Daily Charts side-by-side – Data Range: 3 April, 2018 – 4 April, 2018

Lower Time Frames Are Also Key

You might have the impression that higher time frames will always provide more information than lower time frames. This is not necessarily true, because the financial charts are fractal in nature, which means that price patterns repeat on all scales, from low to high, in a similar way. That is exactly why lower time frames can also help out when analysing higher time frames.

For instance, you might be considering a long setup based on a daily
candle, but will the price continue immediately? or will there be a retracement first? Traders can gain more information about the chance of a break or a pullback by zooming into the lower time frames and then checking whether the price was able to push through the local support levels or not. For example:

  • A breakout on that time scale is likely to continue
  • A bounce could indicate a potential retracement

Trends, Momentum, and Entries


A trend is a series of Higher Highs and Higher Lows (uptrend), or a series of thrust and pullback. Very occasionally, the trend can be shadowed by the so-called ‘whipsaws’. In that case, the trend is not seen clearly. Because of that, we have developed a custom MACD indicator as an example, that displays trends in the following way:

  • Higher Time Frames: Monthly, Weekly, Daily – The histogram is thick blue for an uptrend or thick red for a downtrend:

MTFA: Multiple Time Frame Analysis in Forex Trading

Source: ecs.MACD Indicator

  • H4, H1, M15, and Lower Time Frames – The histogram is thick blue, and the blue MACD line is above the 0 line for an uptrend. For a downtrend, the histogram is thick red, and the blue MACD line is below the 0 line.

This example demonstrates an uptrend:

MTFA: Multiple Time Frame Analysis in Forex Trading

Source: ecs.MACD Indicator

This example demonstrates a downtrend:

MTFA: Multiple Time Frame Analysis in Forex Trading

Source: ecs.MACD Indicator


When determining the trend on a specific time frame, we need to move one time frame lower to find the momentum. In order to align trend and momentum, we need to have an opposite move from the trend. To find an entry, we must first wait for a retracement (i.e. the buy-low-sell-high principle).

The retracement on the MACD is indicated by a thinning histogram. For example, if we have an uptrend on a daily time frame indicated by a thick blue histogram, then 4h should have a thinning histogram, and that indicates a 4h retracement. By aligning a daily trend with a 4h momentum, we can then move on to lower time frames and search for an entry.

MTFA: Multiple Time Frame Analysis in Forex Trading

Source: ecs.MACD Indicator


For entries, some traders would use a momentum time frame, whereas others might want to drill down to a lower time frame, and then search for an entry. In the case of the daily trend, and a H4 retracement, the entry time frame is usually H1, M30, or M15.

Traders might want to use different price action tools, confluence,
candlesticks, or whatever method they see fit for an entry. The entry time frame is important as this is when and where entries are made. Effectively, the entry time frame uses higher time frames for momentum, and trends for a decision.

What Are the Best Time Frames?

Here are time frame combinations for you to consider using in your trading setups:

  • Swing trading: weekly, daily, 4h charts
  • Intra-day/week trading: daily, 4h, 1 hour charts
  • Intra-day trading: daily, 1h, 15 min charts

Long-term traders could use a monthly, weekly, and daily (or 4h) chart combination.
Scalpers could perhaps go with a 1-hour, a 15-minute, and a 5-minute chart combination.

The good news is there are several methods available to professional traders that enable them to quickly perform MTF analysis, by using special indicators such as the Mini Charts that are available in the MetaTrader 4 Supreme Edition plugin.

What Is the Best Time Frame Combination?

Although all time frames have their own individual benefits, some traders think that each time frame is particularly useful for these three key aspects of trading:

  • Spotting Support & Resistance – Support & Resistance is key for the higher time frames. Reviewing the weekly chart, for instance, is useful when you are a swing trader.
  • Identifying the trend and patterns – The middle time frames are the best for viewing trends, momentum, corrections, and patterns in general. For swing traders this would be a daily chart, whereas for intra-day or intra-week traders, a 1-hour or 4-hour chart would be appropriate.

The trader’s main purpose is to measure whether there is a trend, whether there is impulsive or corrective
price action, if there are there signs of exhaustion like divergence or reversal patterns, and if there are signs of continuation patterns.

  • Searching for entries – The lowest time frames are the best trigger chart, and are useful for trading purposes. It is the best for finding the entry, and also for taking a trade setup.

In most cases, traders use candlestick patterns to confirm entry points. For instance, with bounce setups, traders might wait for a wick or an exhaustion candle. With breakout setups, traders might wait for strong candle closes. As you can see, time frames are especially relative. The best time frame for you will depend on your preferred type of trading, and other important factors of course.

But one aspect remains true when trading with a demo trading account or a live account, and using multiple time frame analysis — a useful concept for most traders. Please note that there is nothing wrong with single time frame analysis, but professional traders might see clearer benefits performing multiple time frame analysis, specifically when using three charts with three different roles.


The utilisation of MTFA can significantly enhance the odds of making a successful trade. Unfortunately, a lot of traders overlook the usefulness of this technique once they start to find a particular niche. However, it is a great starting point for newbies, and is certainly one worth revisiting for experienced traders.

This material doesn’t contain and must not be construed as comprising investment information, investment tips, an offer of solicitation for any trades in financial tools. Take observe that this trading analysis isn’t a reliable index for any future or current operation, as situation can change overtime. Prior to Making any investment decisions, you should seek guidance from independent financial advisors to ensure You Realize that the

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