Every trader aims to buy low and sell high, but only a few are able to muster the courage to go against the herd and purchase when the downtrend reverses direction.
When prices are falling, the sentiment is negative and fear is at extreme levels, but it’s at times like these that the inverse head and shoulders (IHS) pattern can appear.
The (IHS) pattern is similar in construction to the regular H&S top pattern, but the formation is inverted. On completion, the (IHS) pattern signals an end of the downtrend and the start of a new uptrend.
Inverse head and shoulders basics
The (IHS) pattern is a reversal setup that forms after a downtrend. It has a head, a left shoulder and a right shoulder that are upside down and placed below a neckline. A breakout and close above the neckline completes the setup, indicating that the downtrend has reversed.
As shown above, the asset is in a downtrend but after a significant decline, value buyers believe the price has reached attractive levels and will start bottom fishing. When demand exceeds supply, the asset forms the first trough from the left shoulder and the price starts a relief rally.
In a downtrend, traders sell on rallies. The bears sell aggressively after the pullback and the price dips below the first trough, making a lower low. However, bears are unable to capitalize on this weakness and resume the downtrend. The bulls buy this dip and start a relief rally, forming the head of the pattern. As the price nears the previous peak where the rally had stalled, the bears again step in.
That starts the decline, culminating in the formation of the third trough, which is arrested almost in line with the first trough as buyers anticipate a turnaround and purchase aggressively. This forms the right shoulder of the setup. The price turns up and this time, the bulls manage to push the price above the neckline, completing the pattern.
The neckline thereafter becomes the new floor as traders buy the dip to this support. This signals the start of a new uptrend.
Identifying a new uptrend with the (IHS) pattern
Bitcoin (BTC) had been in a downtrend since forming a local top at $13,970 on June 26, 2019. The buyers stepped in and arrested the decline in the $7,000 to $6,500 support zone, forming the left shoulder of the (IHS) pattern. This started a relief rally that pushed the price to $10,450. At this level, short-term bulls booked profits and bears initiated short positions, aiming to resume the downtrend.
Aggressive selling broke the support at $6,500 and the Bitcoin/Tether (USDT) pair plunged to $3,782.13 on March 13, 2020. The bulls viewed this fall as a buying opportunity and that started a strong relief rally, which reached close to $10,450. This second trough formed the head of the setup.
The right shoulder was shallow because the selling pressure was reduced and bulls did not wait for a deeper correction to buy. Finally,…