Basic Japanese candlestick patterns

• Spinning Tops

Candlesticks consisting of a long upper shadow, long lower shadow and a small body, regardless of the candlestick direction (color), are called Spinning Tops. Here's what they look like:

Forex spinning top

These patterns are a sign of indecision, i.e. market shows hesitation - whether to go up or down. The small size of the body shows there was very little movement in the currency pair between the open and the close. The shadows indicate that both the bulls and the bears have tried to move the price in their favor but have ultimately failed in their endeavors.

If the spinning top pattern appears in an uptrend, it means that perhaps the bulls are losing steam on their way up, which might make you think of a possible reversal.

If, on the other hand, a spinning top turns up in a downtrend, it means that perhaps the bears don't have enough strength anymore, which could set things up for a possible turnaround.

• Marubozu

No, this is not the name of a sumo wrestler ;-) Marubozu is a candlestick comprised only of a long body, with no wicks. Marubozu is Japanese for 'close-cropped'. Here's what a marubozu looks like:

Forex marubozu

The opening price in a bullish marubozu coincides is also the lowest price while the closing price is also the highest price. Conversely, the opening price of a bearish marubozu is also the highest price while the closing price is also the lowest price. The marubozu, depending on its direction/color, usually marks an impulse move in an upward downtrend or bearish trend.

• Doji

The doji is a Japanese candlestick with equal or very similar opening and closing prices. Its body should look more like a dash than a body.

Here are a few doji variants:

Forex doji

Dojis usually indicate that there's not enough steam to continue the current trend, which means there's possibly a reversal coming soon.