What is a Gap in Forex Trading? Understanding the Basics

Have you ever heard the term “gap” when it comes to forex trading? If you’re not familiar with it, gaps refer to spaces left when the market jumps from one price level to another, causing a break in the price chart. These gaps occur in between the closing price of one trading day and the opening price of the next trading day. While they may seem like just another aspect of the forex market, gaps can actually provide insight into market sentiment and help traders make informed decisions.

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Gaps in forex trading can be caused by various factors such as economic data releases, geopolitical events, and even rumors and speculation. They can also be influenced by the time of day, with gaps often occurring during periods of low trading volume such as weekends. What makes gaps so significant is that they can either be filled or remain unfilled, which can provide important information to traders on where the market might be headed.

When it comes to forex trading, gaps can represent both opportunities and risks. On one hand, an unfilled gap can present a chance for traders to enter the market at a favorable price point, while a filled gap can signal a reversal in the direction of the market. However, it’s important to note that gaps can also be a sign of volatility and uncertainty, requiring traders to exercise caution and carefully monitor market conditions. Overall, understanding gaps and their implications is an important aspect of successful forex trading.

Understanding the concept of a gap in forex trading

When we talk about forex trading, we often come across the term ‘gap’. A gap is a price difference between the closing of one candlestick and the opening of the next candlestick. Any gap in the forex market occurs when there are significant market-moving events that happen during weekends when the market is closed. This can create a gap between the Friday close and Sunday open. Gaps can also occur during regular trading hours when the price rapidly rises or falls without any trading taking place in between.

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Gaps are important for traders because they can either signal a high potential to make money during trades or a high risk potential for traders. Understanding the different types of gaps is important for traders to reduce trading risks.

  • Common gap: A common gap occurs in the normal everyday market. These types of gaps are not significant and can easily be filled, which means that the price may move back to its original position before the gap happened.
  • Breakaway gap: A breakaway gap occurs when the price moves sharply in either direction after consolidating in a tight range. This type of gap can be a good indication of changes occurring in the market trend.
  • Runaway gap: A runaway gap happens when the price moves quickly in one direction before consolidating again. This type of gap signals a continuation in the current trend.
  • Exhaustion gap: An exhaustion gap happens when there is an overstretched price movement. This type of gap is an indication of a reversal in the current trend.
  • Island reversal gap: An island reversal gap occurs when a price movement creates a gap that is isolated from the previous movement. This type of gap is a sign of a trend reversal.
Type of GapDescription
Common GapA gap in the normal market movement that can easily be filled
Breakaway GapA sharp price movement after consolidation indicating a trend change
Runaway GapQuick price movement indicating a continuation in the current trend
Exhaustion GapOverstretched price movement indicating a reversal in the current trend
Island Reversal GapA price gap isolated from the previous movement indicating a trend reversal

Traders should always use support and resistance levels, trends, and other indicators to confirm any gaps before making any trades. Failing to do so can increase a trader’s risk of entering incorrect markets, making unnecessary losses. By understanding the concept of gaps and recognizing the different types, traders can use the gaps as an effective tool to make profitable trades in the forex market.

Different Types of Gaps in Forex Trading

A gap in forex trading refers to the difference between the closing price of one candlestick and the opening price of the next. This gap is usually caused by market news and events that occur when the market is closed. There are three types of gaps in forex trading- common gaps, breakaway gaps, and runaway gaps.

  • Common Gaps: These gaps occur frequently in the forex market and do not usually have a significant impact on the market. They are also known as area gaps or horizontal gaps. They happen when the price of a currency pair opens at a level that is different from the previous close but the change is not very drastic. For instance, weekend gaps are a type of common gap that usually occur when the market is closed during weekends and the opening price on Monday is higher or lower compared to Friday’s closing price.
  • Breakaway Gaps: These gaps are a result of significant financial news or events that occur outside the trading hours. They usually happen at the beginning of a new trend and are also called continuation gaps. Breakaway gaps indicate strong market sentiment and can be seen as a signal to open a trade. For example, a breakaway gap may occur if a central bank issues an unexpected policy statement or if there is a sudden geopolitical event that affects the market.
  • Runaway Gaps: These gaps are also called measuring gaps or acceleration gaps and occur in the middle of a trend. They indicate that there will be a rapid acceleration of the current trend. Runaway gaps usually occur as a result of a large financial event or news that confirms the strength of the trend and can be a signal to traders to enter long or short positions. An example of a runaway gap would be a significant economic report that confirms a growing economy.


Gaps in forex trading can provide valuable information to traders about market sentiment and possible trends. Understanding the different types of gaps and how they are formed can help you make more informed trading decisions. Whatever your trading style, it is important to incorporate gap analysis into your overall strategy as they often provide excellent risk-to-reward ratios.

Factors that can cause gaps in forex trading

Gap in forex trading happens when there is a sudden shift in currency prices without any trading occurring. This can occur during normal trading hours or when the market is closed, resulting in gaps in price between the closing price and opening price when the market reopens. These gaps can lead to unexpected losses or profits with other forex traders in the market.

  • Economic Events: Economic events such as interest rate announcements, employment data, and other significant news releases can cause gaps. This is because these events can trigger a sudden rush of trading activity when the market reopens, causing prices to shift suddenly and creating gaps.
  • Low Liquidity: Forex market is largest financial market in the world, but there are times when forex trading is slow such as holidays or weekends. Low liquidity in the market makes it easier for big traders to move the market and gaps can occur in this case.
  • Technical Glitches: Technical glitches in the trading platform can cause gaps. Such technical issues can cause the platform to delay or miss some trades, or execute them at a different price thereby causing gaps

How to manage gaps in forex trading

In order to manage gaps in forex trading, traders need to be alert and prepared. Check upcoming economic calendars for announcements that could bring unforeseen spikes in the market and create gaps. Traders should also set their stop losses in advance, and consider trading during high liquidity periods. Additionally, traders should test their trading platform to ensure it is working correctly, and always keep an eye on their trades when the market reopens after a gap.

The final word

Gaps in forex trading are unpredictable, but they can be avoided by taking the necessary steps mentioned above. Being vigilant and developing a strong trading strategy can help to manage gaps and minimize their impact on forex trading success.

Gaps can provide a chance to profit from unexpected market movementsGaps can lead to unexpected losses
Prevention can be possible with careful planning and analysisA gap can never be entirely eliminated
Managed correctly, gaps can present buying opportunitiesGaps can make traders feel anxious and uncertain

Key Indicators to Identify Potential Gaps in Forex Trading

Identifying potential gaps in forex trading is crucial for investors who want to make informed decisions and maximize their profits. Here are four key indicators that can help traders identify potential gaps in forex trading:

  • News Releases: Major economic and political news releases often trigger shifts in the forex market. Traders should monitor news releases and understand how they can impact currency prices. If a currency’s value changes abruptly following a news release, it could signal the start of a gap.
  • Volatility: Measuring volatility is critical in forex trading. Sharp price fluctuations in a short period can indicate a gap in the currency market. Trader can use volatility indicators such as the Average True Range (ATR) or Bollinger Bands to estimate potential gaps in forex trading.
  • Support and Resistance Levels: Support and resistance levels refer to price levels where investors expect buying or selling pressure to occur. If a currency’s value moves beyond a support or resistance level suddenly, it could indicate a gap. Traders can use technical analysis to identify potential support and resistance levels and assess if a potential gap may occur.
  • Weekend Gaps: Weekend gaps occur when the forex market is closed over the weekend and reopens with a new price on Monday. Large ownership or macroeconomic news that occurred during the weekend can breed excitement and volatility among market participants. Traders should monitor potential weekend news and prepare for any potential gap in currency prices.


Traders should incorporate the above-mentioned indicators into their forex trading plans to become better equipped in identifying potential gaps. Stay informed with global events that could impact the market and be ready to act when necessary to maximize potential profits.

Pros and cons of trading gaps in forex

Forex trading offers a plethora of opportunities that traders can take advantage of to make money. One of them is trading gaps. But as with any other technique, trading gaps have both advantages and disadvantages. Below are the pros and cons of trading gaps in forex.

  • Pros:
    • Potential for high returns: Gaps are indicative of sudden price shifts, so trading gaps can potentially offer high returns.
    • Opportunity to make quick profits: Since gaps are quick shifts in prices, traders can make profits in a short amount of time.
    • Less competition: Compared to other trading styles like day or swing trading, there is less competition in trading gaps, which can potentially increase the chances of making profits.
  • Cons:
    • High risk: Trading gaps can be risky because the gaps may not always fill, and traders may experience large losses if their positions do not perform as expected.
    • Requires skill: Trading gaps require a certain amount of skill and experience. New traders may find it challenging to trade gaps, especially if they do not have a sound understanding of technical analysis.
    • Unpredictable: Gaps are unpredictable, and sudden shifts can occur at any time. This makes trading gaps a challenging strategy since a trader needs to be quick to react to sudden market shifts.

How to trade gaps effectively

To trade gaps effectively, traders need to understand the market and have a sound knowledge of technical analysis. Moreover, they need to develop a trading plan and stick to it. Here are some tips on how to trade gaps effectively:

Tips to trade gaps effectively
1. Use a stop-loss: A stop-loss order can help traders minimize their losses in case the gap does not fill in the anticipated direction.
2. Monitor news releases: News releases, especially those related to economic data or geopolitical events, can cause gaps. Traders need to keep an eye on such events and adjust their positions accordingly.
3. Analyze the trend: It is essential to analyze the overall trend and market sentiment before trading gaps. If the trend is against the gap, it may not fill, and traders may end up losing money.
4. Practice on demo accounts: Since trading gaps require skill, new traders should practice on demo accounts to get a feel of the markets before trading with real money.
5. Use proper risk management techniques: Proper risk management is essential when trading gaps. Traders should not risk more than 2-3% of their account on a single trade.

To conclude, trading gaps in forex can be a profitable strategy if done carefully and with proper risk management techniques. Traders who are interested in trading gaps should develop a trading plan that takes into account the risks and rewards of this technique.

Strategies for Trading Gaps in Forex

Gap trading can be a very profitable technique in forex trading if executed properly. Here are some strategies that can be used to trade gaps in forex:

  • 1. Fade the Gap: This strategy involves taking a position opposite to the direction of the gap. For example, if there is a gap up, the trader will take a short position, betting that the price will fall back down to fill the gap.
  • 2. Go with the Gap: This is the opposite of the “Fade the Gap” strategy. Here, the trader takes a position in the direction of the gap, betting that the price will continue to move in that direction.
  • 3. Play the Gap: This strategy involves taking a position when the gap occurs, and then closing it when the price moves back to the previous level. This can be done by using limit orders to buy at the lower level and sell at the higher level.

It is important to note that gaps may not always get filled immediately, and the trader may need to exercise patience and wait for the market to come back to the gap level.

Here is an example of how the “Go with the Gap” strategy can be used:

DateCurrency PairPrice Action
January 1stUSD/JPYClose: 109.95
January 2ndUSD/JPYOpen: 110.10 (Gap Up)
January 3rdUSD/JPYClose: 110.45

In this example, the trader would have gone long on USD/JPY at the open on January 2nd, betting that the price would continue to move up after the gap. They would have then closed their position at the close on January 3rd, realizing a profit of 45 pips.

Gap Trading vs Trend Following in Forex

Gap trading and trend following are two popular strategies in forex trading. While both can be profitable in their own right, they differ in their approach to the market. Here, we’ll explore the differences between gap trading and trend following in forex.


Gap trading is a strategy that involves trading based on gaps in price between the closing price of one trading day and the opening price of the next day. These gaps occur when there is a significant change in market sentiment between the close and open of two consecutive trading days. Gap traders take advantage of these price gaps by either buying or selling depending on the direction of the gap.

  • Gap trading is a short-term strategy that requires traders to constantly monitor the market for gaps.
  • Traders need to be quick to act on the gaps before the market corrects itself and the gap is filled.
  • The risk in gap trading is relatively high as traders are essentially trying to predict the market’s direction based on a single event.


Trend following is a strategy that involves identifying the direction of the market trend and trading in that direction. Traders look for patterns in price movements and use technical indicators to determine the strength of the trend. Once a trend is established, traders buy or sell depending on the direction of the trend.

  • Trend following is a long-term strategy that requires traders to be patient and have a strong understanding of technical analysis.
  • Traders can ride the trend as long as it lasts, which can lead to higher profits compared to gap trading.
  • The risk in trend following is lower than gap trading as traders are following the market’s direction rather than trying to predict it.

Table: Comparison of Gap Trading and Trend Following

Gap TradingTrend Following
Profit PotentialLower compared to trend followingHigher compared to gap trading
Technical analysisLess importantMore important

In conclusion, both gap trading and trend following have their pros and cons. It all boils down to the trader’s preference, risk appetite, and trading style. Gap trading can be profitable for those who prefer short-term trading and don’t mind taking higher risks, while trend following can be profitable for those who prefer long-term trading and are willing to wait for the market to show them a clear direction.

The Role of News Events in Creating Gaps in Forex Trading

News events are a major catalyst for market movements, and the forex market is no exception. When there is big news, it can create large gaps in price between trading days. Here’s how news events can create gaps in forex trading:

  • Announcements on monetary policy: Central banks have a huge impact on forex trading. Every time a central bank makes an announcement about its monetary policy, it can create volatility and lead to large price gaps.
  • Economic data releases: Economic data releases such as GDP reports, employment statistics, and inflation figures can lead to big market movements and create gaps in prices.
  • Geopolitical developments: Geopolitical events such as wars, terrorist attacks, and political turmoil can have a profound effect on forex trading. When a major development takes place, it can lead to big price gaps.

It’s important for forex traders to keep track of news events and their potential impact on price. One way to stay informed is to use an economic calendar, which lists upcoming news events and their expected impact on the market.

Here’s an example of how news events can create gaps in forex trading:

DateNews EventImpact on Price
June 23, 2016United Kingdom European Union membership referendumGBP/USD dropped by over 12% in the hours following the vote
March 19, 2020United States Federal Reserve rate cutUSD/JPY dropped by 2.46%
April 17, 2021Bitcoin hits all-time highUSD/BTC increased by 20.67%

As you can see from the table above, news events can have a big impact on forex trading, leading to large price gaps. Successful forex traders stay informed and use this knowledge to their advantage.

Historical Analysis of Gaps in Forex for Market Prediction

Gap trading is a popular and potentially profitable strategy used by Forex traders. It involves buying or selling currency pairs based on the presence of a gap in the price chart. But what is gap trading and how can historical data be used to predict market movements? Let’s take a closer look.

  • A gap occurs when the price of a currency pair opens significantly higher or lower than the previous day’s closing price. This can happen due to a variety of reasons such as economic news, political events, or market sentiment.
  • Gap trading involves capitalizing on these sudden price movements by buying or selling currency pairs. Traders can use a variety of technical analysis tools such as moving averages, support and resistance levels, or Fibonacci retracements to identify potential gaps and trade accordingly.
  • Historical analysis of gaps can provide valuable insights into market trends and price movements. By studying past gaps and their corresponding market reactions, traders can identify patterns and make more informed trading decisions.

But what can historical data tell us about gaps in Forex trading? For one, it can help traders understand the likelihood of a particular gap occurring in the future. By analyzing past events, traders can identify which currency pairs are most likely to experience gaps and under what conditions.

Additionally, historical data can give traders insight into the market reactions to different types of gaps. For example, a gap that occurs due to a sudden news event may have a different market reaction compared to a gap that occurs due to technical factors.

Let’s take a look at an example:

DateCurrency PairType of GapMarket Reaction
03/07/2021EUR/USDBreakaway GapPositive Market Reaction – price continued to rise
05/18/2021USD/JPYRunaway GapNegative Market Reaction – price decreased significantly
07/21/2021GBP/USDExhaustion GapNeutral Market Reaction – price remained stable

Using this data, traders can identify the types of gaps that are most likely to occur in different currency pairs and make informed decisions based on historical market reactions. Of course, it’s important to remember that historical data is not a guarantee of future outcomes and should be used in conjunction with other analytical tools.

In conclusion, historical analysis of gaps in Forex trading is a valuable tool for predicting market movements and identifying profitable trading opportunities. By studying past gaps and analyzing market reactions, traders can make more informed decisions and achieve greater success in the Forex market.

Measuring the Potential Impact of Gaps in Forex on Risk Management

As a forex trader, you must always be aware of the potential impact of gaps on risk management. Gaps are price movements that occur when there is a significant difference between the closing price of a trading session and the opening price of the next trading session. These gaps can be caused by a variety of factors, including economic news releases, political events, and market sentiment shifts.

Measuring the potential impact of gaps in forex on risk management involves several key factors:

  • Size of the gap: The size of the gap is critical in determining the potential impact on risk management. A small gap may not have a significant impact, while a large gap can result in a significant loss.
  • Volatility of the currency pair: The volatility of the currency pair is also an important factor to consider. High volatility currency pairs are more likely to have gaps and can therefore pose a greater risk to your trading position.
  • Leverage used: The leverage used is another factor that can determine the potential impact of a gap. Leveraged trading can amplify both gains and losses, meaning a large gap can result in a significant loss if you are using high leverage.

As a forex trader, it is essential to have a risk management plan in place to protect your trading position from potential gaps. This plan should include strategies for managing your position size, stop loss levels, and use of leverage.

In addition to having a risk management plan, you can also use technical analysis tools to measure the potential impact of gaps on your trading position. These tools include:

  • Gap analysis: This involves analyzing the size and duration of the gap to determine the potential impact on your position.
  • Support and resistance levels: By identifying key support and resistance levels, you can determine where to place your stop loss order to limit potential losses.
  • Volatility indicators: These indicators can help you determine the potential impact of gaps on your position by measuring price volatility.
FactorPotential Impact on Risk Management
Size of the gapDetermines the potential magnitude of a loss.
Volatility of currency pairAffects the likelihood of a gap occurring and the potential size of the gap.
Leverage usedAmplifies both gains and losses, making large gaps more impactful.

By measuring the potential impact of gaps on your risk management, you can make informed trading decisions and protect yourself from potential losses.

FAQs: What is a Gap in Forex Trading?

1. What is a gap in forex trading?

A gap in forex trading refers to a sudden jump or drop in price between two consecutive trading periods. This means that the price moves from one level to another without any trading activity or price action in between.

2. What causes gaps in forex trading?

Gaps in forex trading are usually caused by news events or market sentiment that creates a sudden shift in market demand and supply. This can happen when there is new information that affects market sentiments or when there are tensions in the global economic or political landscape.

3. How do traders use gaps in forex trading?

Traders can use gaps as a signal for entry or exit points, especially if the gap represents a break above or below a significant resistance or support level. Traders may also use gap trading strategies where they buy or sell at the opening price of the following trading period to take advantage of the price difference.

4. Are gaps always filled in forex trading?

Not all gaps in forex trading are filled, but many of them are. This means that the price tends to move back toward the gap’s level after a few trading periods. However, there is always a risk that the gap may not be filled, especially if there are strong market fundamentals that support the gap’s direction.

5. Can gaps be predicted in forex trading?

Gaps in forex trading cannot be predicted with certainty, but traders can use technical and fundamental analysis to identify potential gaps. By monitoring market trends, news events, and support/resistance levels, traders can anticipate the possibility of a gap and prepare accordingly.

6. How do traders manage risks when trading gaps?

Traders can manage risks when trading gaps by using appropriate risk management strategies such as setting stop-loss orders or reducing position size. This helps to limit losses in case the gap does not fill or moves against the trader’s position.

7. Are gaps more common in forex trading or other markets?

Gaps are more common in forex trading than in other markets due to high liquidity and 24/7 trading. However, gaps can occur in any market where there is a sudden shift in supply and demand.

Closing Thoughts: Thanks for Reading!

We hope this article has been helpful in explaining what gaps are in forex trading and how traders can take advantage of them. Remember that trading gaps comes with risks, and it is important to have a solid understanding of market fundamentals and risk management strategies. Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and feel free to check back for more informative content!