In the context of the share market, this is a display or picture of a security that plots price and/or volume (the number of shares changing hands) over time. These days this mostly takes the form of a candlestick chart with a histogram of the volume traded below. Consider this example:
This is a six-month chart of daily trades (each candlestick is a separate day’s trade showing high, low, open and close). You can see the volume chart below which shows how volumes peaked when the share fell in January and you can see that the support at R800 has been marked on the chart. So this gives a good picture of what is going on in the share. The art of finding and exploiting patterns in charts (like the support shown above) is known as “technical analysis”, and over the years, many different types of charts have been developed. Your charting software can display about 60 different charting formulae. Fundamentalists believe that there is no merit in charting and that the only worthwhile analysis is the analysis of fundamental data such as the company’s financial statements and industry. Technicians believe that there is no point in studying fundamentals because all that information has already been discounted into the price and volume pattern. The best approach is to study both fundamental and technical analysis.
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