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Traders and investors always look at charts when they make trading decisions, because those charts contain essential information about the behavior of prices. Here are some familiar types of charts that facilitate performance analysis.

Line Chart


Figure 1. One-year line chart of daily prices for EUR/USD

A line chart is simply a line graph connecting prices at different times. Shown in Figure 1, examples of a daily chart and an intra-day chart:

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Bar Chart


Figure 2. Three-month bar chart of daily prices for EUR/USD.

Figure 2 shows an example of a bar chart, displaying the daily open, high, low and close prices of YAHOO. One can see that, compared with the line chart, the bar chart reveals more information about the prices.

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Candlestick Chart

Candlestick charts are very popular in Asia. Essentially, they contain the same information as bar charts. Figures 3 shows an example of a candlestick chart:


Figure 3. Three-Month candle stick chart of daily prices for EUR/USD

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Reference Chart


Figure 4. Daily price candlestick chart with Fast Stochastics for EUR/USD.

Besides price, many other indicators contain important sources of market information. The common practice is to plot prices together with other technical indicators, which will be discussed in detail in the next section. These accompanying graphs are called "Reference Charts." Figure 4 shows a chart with Fast Stochastics.

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