False Breakouts in Trading: How to Avoid the Trap

 “Error identifying a trend breakout?” That’s just another example of the kind of faulty logic that pervades the world today. It’s not like reading stock charts is an exact science – it’s far more complicated than that. People are so eager to try anything they can to make a quick buck, they overlook all the analysis, risk management and other factors that go into successful trading. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to accurately identify trend breakouts every time, and relying on luck could lead to major losses in the long run.

False breakouts can be costly in trading. Discover the tell-tale signs and expert tips for avoiding them in this must-read guide."

What are false breaks?

False breaks in trading chart occur when an asset is perceived to break out of a significant price level, only to revert right back to where it came from. These false breaks can be an effective trading tool in the presence of a long-term trend and can be used to find opportunities to follow the trend.

In trading terms, breaks occur when an asset (or a currency pair, stock, commodity, index, etc.) moves aggressively and swiftly against a particular direction of the prior trend. This sudden and aggressive move can often be identified as a new trend which has the potential to break and reach new highs or lows. However, these sudden moves can often be false breaks. This means that the price won’t sustain its move and it will eventually reverts back to previous price levels.

False breaks are characterized by a swift upward or downward move and a swift reversal of the same. They can be identified through several signs such as a reduced average true range (ATR) just before the break, or the presence of long wicks and no significant volume on the break out. The presence of a long wick in the candles signals that sellers or buyers who jumped in the break out are unable to sustain their positions and the prices fall back to where they started, thus producing a false break.

Market volatility is a major factor when trading false breaks since this type of move happens so quickly that traders have to act fast and therefore it is important to closely monitor the market. Moreover, false breaks often occur when the market is overbought or oversold. Therefore, traders should focus on preparing a trading strategy on longer time frames with levels of resistance and support to capture the most of a false break.

How can you identify a false break?

In trading, it is important to properly identify a genuine break from a false one. False breaks, also known as false breakouts or false signals, are signals from the market that suggest a potential trend is set to emerge. In particular, they are signals that prices will reverse the prevailing trend and begin an upward or downward movement. This can be a tricky thing to spot, and so it is important to understand what a false break on a trading chart is, and how to identify one.

Merely a Signal

First, it is important to recognize that a false break on a trading chart is merely a signal, and not a guaranteed outcome. Despite being a key tool in the technical analysis of the market, false breaks do not always predict the future price movements of an asset, but instead provide a suggestion as to the outcome of price action. As such, any decisions taken based on the information provided in false breaks must be based on further analysis of the market.

Understanding Timeframe

Another key element in identifying false breaks is understanding the timeframe the break appears in. A false break appearing on a short-term chart is likely to be more reliable than one on a long-term chart, as it is likely to represent short-term market manipulation or a sudden change in sentiment. In contrast, a false break on a long-term chart could be a sign of a longer-term trend that has already formed, so long-term investors must take special care to ensure the signal is genuine.

Market Trend

False breaks may also be identified through a few more specific market trends. For example, certain false breaks known as ‘double false breaks’ are characterized by a sudden break in price action that is then quickly reversed, indicated a change in sentiment. Similarly, the phenomenon of a ‘V-shaped false breakout’ can occur when the price action breaks below or above a trend line, only to quickly return back to the original level.

It is important to remember that false breaks can be used as part of a strategy to maximize profits. False breakouts may present opportunities to buy or sell assets at a price point with relatively low risk, or to minimize losses. As such, understanding false breaks can be beneficial to both short-term and long-term investors, as it can provide valuable insight into both the short term and long term trends of the market.

What are the consequences of a false break?

In some cases, a false break causes traders to open or close position prematurely, resulting in a financial loss. For example, if an investor misinterprets a false break as an authentic breakout and buys a stock, only to have the stock sink back to the prior key-support level, this trader stands to suffer losses. Additionally, relying too much on these false breaks can lead to heavy losses as traders try to act on the movement and focus too much on short-term trends and not enough on the long-term picture.

Too Rush Open and Close Order

False breakouts can also lead to an increase in market volatility as traders rush to close or open positions in anticipation of a trend reversal. This increased volatility, if prolonged, could cause an overall market slow down and a decrease in liquidity. This reduced liquidity can increase transaction costs and trading fees, making it harder and more expensive for traders to enter and exit the market.

Against The Trend

On the other hand, a false break can also be used to a trader’s advantage. Some traders use false breaks as opportunities to go against the trend and open positions when the price is at its lowest. If done correctly, these traders can generate profits by buying assets at a discount and selling them when the trend reverses and the price rises. This strategy is often called ‘fading the breakout’ and can be a great way to reap profits in a short period of time.
False breakouts on a trading chart can have both positive and negative repercussions for traders. It is important for traders to understand the risks associated with trading and the different strategies that can be employed to turn false breakout into a profitable trade. Understanding the impact of false breaks on the market can help traders make sound trading decisions and can have a positive effect on their trading success.

How can you prevent a false break from happening?

When trading any asset, one of the key components in becoming a successful trader is being able to identify a false break in a char
t. A false break occurs when a chart appears to break a particular support or resistance line, only for the price to retrace back and stay within the original trading range. This can cause traders to make the wrong decisions when following a trading strategy, resulting in taking a loss and damaging overall profits. 

Using Technical Analysis 

The most effective way to prevent a false break in a trading chart is to apply technical analysis. Technical analysis is the study of market activity in order to make predictions about future trends and prices. Through a variety of techniques, traders can gain valuable insight into the price action of a market, increasing their chances of making the right trading decisions.

Trend Line

One of the most common technical analysis techniques is using trend lines. A trend line is a straight line that connects two or more price highs or lows in order to identify the direction of a trend. This can be useful in helping traders to identify false breaks since a strong trend line should remain unbroken throughout the duration of a market trend. 

Support and Resistance Level

Another useful tool for avoiding false breaks is using support and resistance levels. Support and resistance levels are important points on a chart which are used to gauge when buying or selling pressure is likely to occur. These are areas where a large number of buyers or sellers are likely to enter the market and make it difficult for the price to break past a particular level. If a break does occur, the trader should be aware that the move may be false and take the appropriate action.


Finally, traders can use a variety of oscillators to avoid false breaks. Oscillators are indicators which measure the momentum of a market, providing traders with valuable insight into the strength or weakness of the market in real time. Oscillators are especially useful for identifying false move, as they can detect when a market is overbought or oversold, indicating that a move may be false and corrective. 


As a professional trader, it’s important to always be aware of false trend breakouts in the market, as they can lead to significant losses if not handled correctly. False trend breakouts occur when the price of a security appears to break out of a trend, but then quickly reverses direction, leading traders to believe that a new trend has been established, when in fact it hasn’t.
One of the key ways to identify false trend breakouts is by paying close attention to the volume of trading activity during the breakout. If the volume is low, it’s more likely to be a false breakout, as there isn’t enough buying or selling pressure to sustain the new trend.
Another way to identify false trend breakouts is to look at the chart pattern. If the price appears to break out of a trend, but then quickly returns to its previous trading range, it’s more likely to be a false breakout. Additionally, if the price has been trading in a tight range for an extended period of time, a sudden spike in volatility can indicate a false breakout.

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