IC Markets

Piercing Line Pattern. What is it?

In the earlier chapters of our series on technical analysis indicators, we provided a general overview of various patterns and signals that traders commonly use. Now, we aim to delve deeper into these patterns, focusing specifically on the Piercing Pattern. This article will guide you through its definition, key characteristics, formation, and the trading strategies related to it.

The Piercing Pattern, a two-day candlestick pattern, is known for its potential to indicate short-term reversals from a downward trend to an upward one. Recognizing and understanding this pattern can provide valuable insights into market dynamics and help traders make informed decisions.

Throughout this article, we will dissect the core elements of the Piercing Pattern, explaining its workings and implications in the trading world. We will also offer a real-world example to illustrate its application, along with a discussion on the role of related phenomena like breakaway gaps. Finally, we will explore various trading strategies that can be employed following the emergence of a Piercing Pattern.

Definition of a Piercing Pattern

The Piercing Pattern is a two-day candlestick pattern commonly used in technical analysis to identify potential short-term reversals in price trends. This pattern typically signifies a shift from a downward trend to an upward trend.

In the context of a Piercing Pattern, the first day is characterized by a bearish candle, opening near the high and closing near the low within an average or larger-sized trading range. This is followed by a 'gap down' on the second day, where trading begins with the opening price near the low and closes near the high. Notably, the second day's close should be a candlestick that covers at least half of the upward length of the previous day's red candlestick body.

Key Characteristics of a Piercing Pattern

  1. Two-day Candle Pattern: A Piercing Pattern is formed over two days. The first day is dominated by sellers, marked by a bearish candlestick, while the second day sees a rise in buyer enthusiasm, creating a bullish candlestick.

  2. Potential Reversal Indicator: This pattern is generally seen as an indicator of a potential reversal from a downward trend to an upward trend. However, it is important to remember that it is a potential signal and should be used in conjunction with other technical analysis tools for confirmation.

  3. Downward Trend Precedes the Pattern: A defining feature of the Piercing Pattern is that it is preceded by a downward trend. The existence of this trend is crucial for the formation of the pattern.

  4. Gap After the First Day: After the first day's trading, there is a gap down where the second day's trading commences. The second day opens near the low and closes near the high.

  5. Strong Reversal: The second candle in the pattern should represent a strong reversal, with the closing price covering at least half the body of the previous day's candlestick.

  6. Short-term Forecast: The Piercing Pattern typically only forecasts about five days out, making it a tool primarily for short-term predictions.

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Security also plays an integral role in broker selection. As a forex trader, you will be entrusting your capital to a broker, and the last thing you want is to lose your money due to broker insolvency or cybercriminal activities. Secure brokers implement high-level encryption methods to protect your data and funds. They also segregate client funds from operational funds, ensuring your money can't be used for the broker's operational expenses.

It's also crucial to check if a broker provides investor compensation in case they become insolvent. For instance, FCA-regulated brokers are part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which can compensate clients up to £85,000 if the broker goes bankrupt.

How a Piercing Pattern Works

A Piercing Pattern operates on the principles of supply and demand dynamics in the market. The pattern takes shape over two days of trading, each day representing a different market sentiment.

On the first day, sellers dominate the market, causing the price to open near the high and close near the low of the trading range. This indicates that the supply of shares exceeds demand, leading to a drop in prices.

The second day begins with a 'gap down', which means the market opens near the low of the previous day's range. However, this shift tends to attract more buyers, causing an increase in demand. As a result, the price is driven up, with the day's trading closing near the high. This buying enthusiasm suggests that the supply of shares has depleted and that the market is ready for a potential reversal in trend.

The shift from a bearish (downward) trend to a bullish (upward) trend, as suggested by a Piercing Pattern, signifies that market sentiment is changing. Investors and traders can leverage this pattern to predict potential short-term reversals and adjust their trading strategies accordingly.

Formation of a Piercing Pattern

The formation of a Piercing Pattern takes place over two consecutive trading days and involves a specific set of conditions:

  1. Day 1: The pattern begins with a bearish candlestick on the first day, where the price opens near the high and closes near the low, indicating strong selling pressure.

  2. Day 2: The second day starts with a gap down, meaning the opening price is lower than the previous day's close. However, unlike the first day, the market on the second day is characterized by buying enthusiasm. The price opens near the low but closes near the high, covering at least half of the body of the previous day's candlestick. This shift in market sentiment from selling to buying forms the basis of the Piercing Pattern.

  3. Preceding Trend: The pattern is typically preceded by a downward trend. The Piercing Pattern signals a potential reversal of this trend.

  4. Pattern Confirmation: For the pattern to be valid, the second day's candlestick must close above the midpoint of the first day's candlestick. This shows that buyers have overcome the selling pressure from the first day and are now driving the prices up.

The Piercing Pattern is one of several important candlestick patterns that traders and analysts often look for when studying price charts. Its formation provides valuable insights into potential market reversals, offering an opportunity to strategize trades and investments effectively.

Confirmation of a Piercing Pattern

The confirmation of a piercing pattern is a critical step in determining the possible outcome of a trade. In general, the piercing pattern is viewed as a bullish reversal sign, but it's not enough to rely solely on the formation of the pattern. Confirmation typically comes from other technical indicators or signals that affirm the reversal.

One common form of confirmation is the presence of higher-than-average volume on the second day of the pattern. This might indicate that there's significant buying interest, which could drive prices higher.

The role of a breakaway gap is also significant in the context of a piercing pattern. A breakaway gap is a type of gap that occurs at the beginning of a pattern and signals the start of a new trend. It's identified by two consecutive white candlesticks, where the second day's white candlestick shows a substantial gap higher from the first day's closing price to the second day's opening price.

A piercing pattern followed by a breakaway gap can be a strong affirmation that a reversal is occurring. Traders would look at this combination of a piercing pattern and a breakaway gap as a potent sign that a bullish reversal is underway.

Trading Strategies Following a Piercing Pattern

Upon the confirmation of a piercing pattern, traders generally have two popular options:

  1. Buy the Stock: Traders can buy the stock to benefit from the expected uptrend. This strategy involves taking a long position in the stock, hoping that the price will continue to rise and provide a profit.

  2. Buy an In-the-Money Call Option: Another strategy involves buying an in-the-money call option with a strike price below the current market price. This gives the trader the right (but not the obligation) to buy the stock at a certain price within a specific time frame. If the price of the stock rises, the value of the call option would also increase, leading to a potential profit when selling the option.

However, it's crucial to remember that while the piercing pattern provides a potential signal for reversal, it's not a guarantee. Market conditions can change quickly, and traders should always consider other factors such as market news, economic indicators, and other technical analysis tools when making trading decisions.

Most brokers provide a range of deposit methods, including wire transfers, credit cards, and e-wallets. Some may even accept cryptocurrencies. It's crucial to review these options and choose a broker that aligns with your preferred methods. Pay attention to any deposit fees that might be applicable as these can eat into your trading capital.

Withdrawals should be equally straightforward. Reputable brokers aim to process withdrawal requests promptly, ensuring traders can access their profits without undue delays. Be wary of brokers that impose excessive delays or have complex withdrawal procedures, as these can be red flags for potential issues.


The piercing pattern is a useful tool in the technical analyst's toolbox, providing potential signals for bullish reversals. However, like all trading strategies and patterns, it's not foolproof and should be used in conjunction with other tools and indicators. As always, a careful, well-researched approach to trading will yield the best results, and risk management techniques should always be employed to protect against potential losses. The piercing pattern, along with the associated strategies discussed, offers one more way for traders to read and respond to market dynamics.