Understanding Pivot Points
Understanding Pivot Points | Source: Tevarak via Istockphoto

Understanding Pivot Points

Imagine being in an unfamiliar city without a map or GPS. You’d be disoriented and uneasy. In the trading world, the same sense of uncertainty may readily translate into missed chances and squandered resources. This is where pivot points come in, functioning as a navigational aid comparable to the North Star. 

Just like you rely on road signals and signposts to make informed selections on a journey, traders employ pivot points to make calculated investing decisions.

Decoding Pivot Points

Pivot points are mathematical tools that help traders predict market movements, locate potential entry and exit points, and understand market sentiment. They are calculated using the low, high, and closing prices of previous trading sessions

These important indicators, which are frequently included in forex trading platforms and tutorials, assist traders in determining potential entry and exit positions and in developing profitable trading strategies. 

Pivot Point Types

Many types of pivot points can be found in financial markets, and they are as follows:

1. Fibonacci Pivot Points: 

Using the golden ratio to predict probable support and resistance levels is especially valuable for determining market sentiment and trends. 

2. Classic Pivot Points:

These are the standard pivot points that are determined using the previous trading day’s high, low, and close. They provide a simple method for identifying probable reversal points.

3. Woodie’s Pivot Points:

Named after the trader who created them, Woodie’s pivot points offer a distinctive method of support and resistance analysis by focusing on the closing price.

4. Camarilla Pivot Points: 

Camarilla pivots use a complex formula to identify intraday support and resistance levels for precise trading.

5. Demark’s Pivot Points:

Demark’s method employs price levels to determine potential reversal and breakout points, aiding traders in market analysis.

The Pivot Point Formula

The pivot point serves as an intraday trader’s “guide” to the financial markets, together with the support and resistance levels. When prices shoot past the designated pivot point, the market moves bullishly in an upward progression. If they fall below the pivot point, this signals a bearish market.

This simple equation yields the pivot point, which then acts as a central reference point for further calculations:

Pivot Point (P) = (High + Low + Close) / 3

How to Use Pivot Points in the South African Market

1. Add the pivot point indicator 

The first step is to add the pivot point indicator to your chart. This is usually freely available on charting platforms like MT4 or your broker’s proprietary trading platform. 

2. Modify the settings

Most platforms would let you adjust the settings of your pivot point indicator. You can choose to view the weekly, daily or monthly pivots depending on your strategy. You may also decide to work with the candle open or close prices. 

3. Wait for Confluence

Confluence occurs when multiple technical analysis tools or strategies point to the same market direction. For instance, if your weekly pivot point aligns with a moving average, that could signal a strong support or resistance level. 


In the vibrant landscape of the South African market, pivot points serve as an indispensable guide for traders and investors alike. These technical tools provide direction, helping you navigate the complexities of trading, whether you’re an intraday trader, a swing trader, or a long-term investor.

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