Outside Bar Indicator

The Outside Bar Indicator is a prominent technical analysis tool used within the Forex market and various other financial markets. This pattern consists of a pair of adjacent bars, where the latter bar completely engulfs the former. The outside bar is considered to be an indication of a potential reversal or continuation in the current price trend.

The Outside Bar is typically used by traders to try identifying potential turning points in the market. When the outside bar forms at the end of a downtrend, it could signal a bullish reversal, while an outside bar at the end of an uptrend might indicate a bearish reversal.

Outside Bar Indicator
Outside Bar Indicator


The Outside Bar Indicator is a technical analysis pattern used in the Forex market to signal potential reversals or continuations in price trends. It consists of two adjacent bars or candlesticks, where the second bar (the “outside bar”) completely engulfs the first, covering both the high and low prices of the previous bar. This pattern is often interpreted as a sign of strong momentum in the direction of the outside bar and can be a crucial part of various trading strategies. In the context of Forex, the Outside Bar Indicator can appear across different timeframes, trying to provide insights into market sentiment and potential price movements.

Formation and Interpretation

The formation of the Outside Bar Indicator involves two consecutive bars or candlesticks, where the second bar completely engulfs the high and low of the preceding bar.

  • Bullish Outside Bar: If the outside bar closes higher than it opens and engulfs a preceding bearish bar, it is interpreted as a bullish signal. This formation could indicate a potential reversal from a downtrend or a continuation of an existing uptrend.
  • Bearish Outside Bar: If the outside bar closes lower than it opens and engulfs a preceding bullish bar, it is interpreted as a bearish signal. This might signal a reversal from an uptrend or a continuation of a downtrend.

Trading Strategies

  • Reversal Strategy: Traders can look for a bullish Outside Bar at the end of a downtrend as a signal to buy, or a bearish Outside Bar at the end of an uptrend as a signal to sell, anticipating a potential reversal.
  • Breakout Strategy: The Outside Bar’s engulfing pattern may represent strong momentum. Traders may enter a trade in the direction of the outside bar, expecting the trend to continue.
  • Risk Management: Implementing target levels aligned with the Outside Bar pattern tries to help in managing the potential risks associated with trading this signal.
Outside Bar Indicator - Overview
Outside Bar Indicator – Overview


  • Short Timeframes (e.g., 1-minute to 1-hour charts): On shorter timeframes, the Outside Bar may signal quick reversals or continuations. Traders using these timeframes are typically day traders or scalpers looking for short-term opportunities.
  • Medium Timeframes (e.g., 4-hour to daily charts): For swing traders, medium timeframes may try to provide more reliable signals by filtering out some of the noise from shorter-term fluctuations. The Outside Bar on these charts may indicate more significant trend changes or continuations.
  • Long Timeframes (e.g., weekly or monthly charts): For position traders or investors, the Outside Bar on long timeframes may signal substantial shifts in market sentiment, representing more durable trends.
Outside Bar Indicator - Example
Outside Bar Indicator – Example


  • False Signals: The Outside Bar can sometimes lead to false signals, particularly in highly volatile or range-bound markets. Without proper confirmation from other indicators, it can mislead traders into incorrect positions.
  • Dependence on Timeframe: The pattern’s effectiveness can vary greatly across different timeframes, with shorter timeframes often being more prone to noise and false indications.
  • Lack of Contextual Insight: The Outside Bar Indicator alone does not consider broader market trends, economic news, or other fundamental factors, which can be vital in understanding the overall market direction.
  • Not Foolproof in All Market Conditions: The indicator may not perform equally well in all market conditions. For example, during periods of low liquidity or major news events, the pattern’s reliability might decrease.
  • Risk of Overemphasis: Relying solely on the Outside Bar Indicator without considering technical or fundamental analysis may lead to an unbalanced trading strategy.
  • Requires Experience for Interpretation: Properly interpreting the Outside Bar pattern can require a certain level of experience and skill, especially in understanding when it might be a reliable signal.
Outside Bar Indicator - Example - 2
Outside Bar Indicator – Example – 2

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Outside Bar Indicator is a vital tool in the arsenal of many Forex traders, trying to offer insights into potential reversals or continuations in price trends. Its formation and interpretation across different timeframes may try to provide signals for various trading strategies, from short-term scalping to long-term investing. By understanding how to trade the Outside Bar, including employing proper confirmation techniques and risk management, traders can try to harness its benefits. However, it is crucial to recognize its limitations and not to rely solely on this pattern. In a market as dynamic and complex as Forex, the Outside Bar Indicator may try to serve as an essential guide, assisting traders in navigating the intricate price movements and enabling more informed trading decisions.

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