Range Bar Charts takes only price into consideration and removes time element from the candle which helps a trader to get a edge during the volatility season(sideways market). Typical Candlestick charts uses time as a factor (5min, 30min, hourly charts etc) where the sideways markets creates lots of noise in our trading systems and most of the time end up with too many whipsaws.
How to Calculate Range Bars
Range Bar Charts generates a new candle only if the range got broken outside the range either way. For example a 15 point Range Bar chart in Nifty futures will create a new candlestick only if the 15 point range breaks out either of the side. In the low volatile market it creates less number of bars and in the high volatile trendy market it creates more number of bars. But a timebased charts create equal number of bars at frequent intervals regardless of the volatility in the market.
It is recommended to adjust the Range Value for each and every trading instrument depends upon the Traders risking nature, trading type(positional,intraday) and the price of the instrument and the expected intraday swing. For Example we cannot apply a 15 point range bar to a Stock with a price value of Rs10 and it is meaningless to do so. IF the Nifty expected intraday range is 100 points then a 10 point or 15 point range bars are preferable according to the traders trading style and the risking ability. However there are no definite rules.
Range Bar Rules
- Each range bar must have a high/low range that equals the specified range.
- Each range bar must open outside the high/low range of the previous bar.
- Each range bar must close at either its high or its low.
How to Gain Edge with Range Bars
By migrating your existing system from candlestick charts to range bar candlestick charts one can take advantage of overcoming sideways markets most of the trades. But still if the markets are highly compressed and trading sideways for longer period the losses incurred will be minimal compared to the time based candlestick charts. The real edge lies in riding the complete trend and also minimizing the losses when there is a sideways markets.
How to Setup Range Bar Charts in Amibroker
First we need to define the tick size of the instrument in Amibroker. To define tick size
1)Open Amibroker and Open the Charts in which you need to plot range bars
2)Goto Window -> Symbols Information (Ami Version 5.5 and above)
3)Under System Information Goto Contract Specification and enter the tick size value as the lowest possible movement. If tick size value is not defined amibroker by default takes the value as 0.01
4)Now enter the range value in the Chart interval box as shown below (Works only with 5.5 or above). So to get a 5 point range bars one have to enter 500R (500 x 0.01). To determine the tick size (minimum possible movement in any given stock) it is advisable to go thro the contract specifications provided by the exchange.
5)Alternative method to set your favorite tick size is go to tools ->Preferences ->Intraday and define your favorite tick size as shown below. After setting the tick size now you can change to range bars easily by right clicking over the charts -> Goto Intraday and select your favorite Range Bar Charts.
6)Range Bar charts will work with non-tick highly authentic datafeeds. But tick level datafeeds will bring greater accuracy to the charts.
- You cannot completely remove the sideways movement even in range bars which will lead to consecutive losses. But the amount of losses will be definitely less than the time based charts provided if you are using the right tick size.
- It is advisable to have tick level database and database settings otherwise Range Bar Charts are not backtestable in Amibroker