Long consolidations are setups that traders must not miss

8-week consolidation in USDJPY

In my opinion ‘the longer they consolidate, the further they run’ is a golden rule when it comes to consolidations. It applies both to forex trading, commodities as well as stocks. I will show a couple of examples later in this post but first of all I will cover USDJPY, a currency pair that recently broke out of a 8-week holding pattern with an explosive run of more than 100 pips overnight.


Break Out Many Boxes

B O M B for short, I have a simple way to detect consolidations. I use a feature called ‘period separator‘ on MT4 together with a drawing tool to segment price charts into periodic segments. In the case of USDJPY, it was showing 8-weeks of sideway consolidation or boxes.

This is the latest chart of USDJPY showing 8 weeks of consolidation or price action that is mostly sideways. After the break of downward trend line and a common horizontal resistance, price move was explosive.

USDJPY daily chart with horizontal resistance and trend line

USDJPY daily chart with horizontal resistance and trend line

In fact with those boxes, I was able to know in advance that USDJPY was brewing something because that consolidation jumped out visually. All a trader has to do is to keep that setup in mind and be on the lookout. Catching the right timing is crucial but something achievable to most.



What I wrote about USDJPY on 13 May last week

USDJPY daily chart

This chart was posted on 13 May in our members-only section

3. When USD rally returns, there is a potential for this pair to rally further.
4. Overhead resistance consists of previous 4-month highs as well as 121 round number and psychological level.
5. What about ’1 YL’ and ’2 YL’? These are also resistance but imo by the time price approaches these levels, the market will understand that USDJPY is going to breakout and things will move pretty quickly.
6. Support is provided by the low of April in the 118 region.
7. At this point, one potential support is provided by green and red trend line.
8. This is a link to a big monthly time frame chart that shows clear skies over 121-122.

Note “When USD rally returns, there is a potential for this pair to rally further” and “Overhead resistance consists of previous 4-month highs as well as 121 round number”. Those of you who are sharp should have realised that DXY bottomed 2 days ago.

Included were two are very important messages.


“When USD rally returns, there is a potential for this pair to rally further”

First of all, DXY bottomed 2 days ago making in this USDJPY move something that goes hand in hand.

DXY dollar index daily chart

DXY bottomed 2 days ago and rallied big yesterday


“Overhead resistance consists of previous 4-month highs as well as 121 round number”

Secondly, we can see USDJPY price action at 121 at this moment.

USDJPY 4-hourly chart

USDJPY 4-hourly chart


‘OK I got you. What next?’

USDJPY movement may not may not be over since it has a number of resistance to fight including the next one at 122. However traders should also take note that 8-weeks of consolidation is peanuts compared to the big holding pattern it has printed since months.

USDJPY weekly chart

USDJPY weekly chart

My message is very simple. I won’t know what the outcome is since I can’t read the future but I can tell that history repeats sometimes so traders should not take their eyes off this pair in case there is a break of resistance and subsequent movement. [Note: This is not an encouragement to trade. I write these for learning purpose for members of this community. Each person takes responsibility for his own action.]


Notable long consolidations to keep in mind

China A50

This index famously consolidated for 6 years and then doubled in 6 months.

FTSE China A50 monthly chart

FTSE China A50 monthly chart | Source: Investing.com



This currency pair consolidated for nearly 5 years and recently made a new 4-year high. It could be doing what traders and technical analysts call a ’rounding bottom’.

GBPNZD weekly chart from 2007 to May 2015

GBPNZD weekly chart

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4 thoughts on “Long consolidations are setups that traders must not miss”

  1. Benson Ang says:

    Hi Mr Soh :) Thank you very much for giving us the CHina A50 & GBP/NZD illustration example so that we can relate better to USD/JPY.
    This is also known as Trading Break Out right? :)
    Usually for a break out to be substantial, what is the minimum consolidation weeks that we should be looking out for to justify that its a strong breakout?

    Realised that the Previous break out for USD/JPY happened in March this year at 120, before heading to 122 in 1 week time.

    How about for those who have missed the boat to enter on Monday, Should we be looking at some retracement of the price towards the PREVIOUS consolidation HIGH at around 120.7 to 120.8 to set up Long position to ride on the late ferry ? haha

    1. Soh Tiong Hum says:

      Hi Benson, some replies to your questions here https://www.terraseeds.com/blog/2015/05/is-trading-breakout-way-to-trade-forex-usdjpy-example/. For retracement zones to consider, I will put into the daily comments (closed) later.

  2. Benson Ang says:

    Previous Breakout Consolidation period was about 12 weeks ( from Jan to March 2015)

  3. Benson Ang says:

    Thanks a million Mr Soh! for the explanation of trading a break out as compared to T-Flow strategy. =) Will look out for your comment on Retracement zone to consider later Thanks alot.

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