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Trading Strategy: Break and Retest

Break and retest is a popular trading strategy used to capitalize on market movements by identifying significant support and resistance levels. This strategy involves two main stages:

  1. Breakout: The price breaks through a strong support or resistance level.
  2. Retest: The price returns to the broken level to test if it now acts as a new support or resistance.

Steps to Use the Break and Retest Technique

  1. Identify Support and Resistance Levels

    • Find price levels that have been tested multiple times.
    • Support Level: An area where the price often stops falling and starts rising.
    • Resistance Level: An area where the price often stops rising and starts falling.
  2. Confirm the Breakout

    • The price must break through the identified support or resistance level.
    • Ensure the candlestick closing price is above the resistance or below the support to confirm the breakout.
  3. Wait for the Retest

    • After the breakout, wait for the price to return to the broken level.
    • The retest confirms that the level now acts as new support or resistance.
  4. Enter Position

    • Enter a buy position if the price breaks the resistance and then tests it as new support.
    • Enter a sell position if the price breaks the support and then tests it as new resistance.
    • Place a stop loss below the new support (for buy) or above the new resistance (for sell).

Identifying Break and Retest Entry Opportunities

Using Chart Patterns

  • Double Top/Bottom: Indicates potential trend reversal.
  • Head and Shoulders: Also indicates potential trend reversal.
  • Flag and Pennant: Trend continuation patterns showing consolidation before resuming the main trend.

Using Technical Indicators

  • Moving Averages: Help identify changing support and resistance levels.
  • RSI (Relative Strength Index): Identifies overbought or oversold conditions.
  • Trendlines: Connect highs or lows to indicate the trend direction.

Difference Between Retest and Pullback


  • Occurs when the price returns to the broken support or resistance level to test the breakout's validity.
  • Confirms the breakout's validity, providing higher confidence for entry.


  • A temporary price movement against the main trend before continuing the trend.
  • Does not always return to clear support or resistance levels.

Risk Management in Break and Retest Trading

Placing Stop Loss

  • Place stop loss below the new support or above the new resistance to protect capital from adverse price movements.

Using Trailing Stop

  • Use a trailing stop to lock in profits as the price moves in the desired direction.

Determining Position Size

  • Use a position size that aligns with your risk tolerance and capital. Avoid overtrading and ensure each trade has a detailed plan.

The break and retest trading technique is an effective strategy to capitalize on price breakouts with more controlled risk. By waiting for a retest, traders can confirm the breakout's validity and enter positions with higher confidence. It's crucial to continuously monitor price movements and employ good risk management practices to minimize losses and maximize gains. Understanding and applying this technique can enhance a trader's success in the financial markets.


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