Charting help guide - Investing Guide - The Share Centre

Please remember: Our website can help you make informed decisions, not provide personalised advice. If your investments fall in value, you could lose money.
Tax allowances and the benefits of tax-efficient accounts could change.

Charting help guide

Our comprehensive charting tool allows you to plot charts on companies, indices, and other securities over different time periods. Once you've found the investment you're interested in (use the 'find investments' tab at the top of the page), click on 'charts'.

Where applicable, you can overlay various moving averages to view share price trends and view a range of key technical indicators to help analyse price changes in more detail.

Main settings - Types

You can change the style of chart using the drop down. The following styles are available:

Line Chart - Display closing prices only in the form of a line so that you can easily detect the rising and falling of a security.

Area Chart - Area charts shade in the area below the line in colour to more easily display the market peaks and troughs.

Candlestick Chart - Candle charts show the same information as a OHLC chart, however the difference between the open and the close is displayed as a solid body. A blue body indicates that the close on a certain day was above the open, and a red block indicates the market has closed below its opening price. These charts are not available on periods over 6 months.

HL Chart - HL charts show two price points per day on a vertical line. As the abbreviation suggests these two points are the High and Low price and show the trading extremes for each day. These charts are not available on periods over 6 months.

OHLC Chart - Open/High/Low/Close charts, or Bar charts as they are better known, show four price points for each day on a vertical line. The top and bottom of the line represent the high and low respectively. Notches on the left and right of the line represent the open and close respectively. These charts are not available on periods over 6 months.

Logarithmic Chart - Charts are normally displayed on an arithmetic price scale with equal weighting given to all price scale points. On an arithmetic price scale equal weighting is given to a move between 100 and 200 as a move between 900 and 1000. This represents a move of 100 points and would be reflected as such. On a logarithmic scale this would be represented differently. Logarithmically the move between 100 and 200 is represented as a 100% increase in price whereas a move between 900 and 1000 would not. To summarise on a logarithmic scale a move between 500 and 1000 would be represented on the price scale in the same way as move between 1000 and 2000. This has the effect of smoothing out a securities rise or fall. Well-known examples of logarithmic scales include the Richter magnitude scale for measuring earthquakes. Logarithmic scale charts are best used over long periods of time where the value of the underlying security has a very large price range.

Indicators & Annotations - Moving Averages

A moving average is a very useful tool which allows you to assess the price trend over time. It is also used to identify when a new trend has begun or an old trend has ended.

In effect it is a smoothed version of the price chart - which is plotted by taking an average of previous prices over different periods.

You can add up to three moving average lines to a chart with a range of frequencies.

Simple - Simple moving averages are based on the arithmetic mean of the price over the last X days, where X is the selected frequency.

Exponential - Exponential moving averages consider a longer history of prices to calculate the moving average.

Weighted - Weighted moving averages assign a greater weight to more recent data.

Indicators & Annotations - Overlay

MA Envelopes - A Simple moving average line can be enhanced by putting a percentage envelope on either side of it. Our lines are displayed 20% above and 10% below the moving average line.

Bollinger Bands - Bollinger Bands are lines displayed around a moving average line. The upper line is displayed 2 standard deviations above the moving average, and the lower line is displayed 2 standard deviations below the moving average.

Indicators & Annotations - Lower Indicators

Accumulation/Distribution - Weighted volume indicator based on the one-day change in price divided by the current day&rsquos range. Generally, the ADI moves in the direction of price.

Aroon Oscillator - Technical Indicator derived from subtracting Aroon Down from Aroon Up. As Aroon Up and Aroon Down oscillate between 0 and 100, the Aroon Oscillator oscillates between -100 and 100 with zero as the centre crossover line.

Aroon Up/Down - Indicator that signals an upward trend when it rises above zero and a downward trend when it falls below zero. The farther away the oscillator is from the zero line, the stronger the trend.

Average Directional Index - ADX measures the strength of a trend. ADX ranges between 0 to 100 - the higher the oscillator, the stronger the trend.

Average True Range - An indicator that measures a security's volatility. High ATR values indicate high volatility and may be an indication of panic selling or panic buying. Low ATR readings indicate sideways movement by the stock.

Bollinger Band Width - Indicator that displays the width of Bollinger Bands.

Chaikin Money Flow - Oscillator calculated from the daily readings of the Accumulation Distribution Line. The CMF is unlike a momentum oscillator in that it is not influenced by the daily price change. Instead, the indicator focuses on the location of the close relative to the range for the period (daily or weekly).

Chaikin Oscillator - Indicator that is calculated by subtracting a 10 period exponential moving average from a 3 period moving average of the Accumulation Distribution Line.

Chaikin Volatility - The Chaikin Volatility function determines the volatility of a financial data series using the percent change in a moving average of the high versus low price over a given time.

Change On Day - The change on day is equivalent to a 1-day momentum calculation. It plots the change in price between each day and the previous day.

Close Location Value - The Close Location Value (CLV) is an indicator based on the location of close related to low and high for the period. It is used to spot the tendency in the price movements.

Commodity Channel Index - The CCI is a timing system that is best applied to commodity contracts, which have cyclical or seasonal tendencies. CCI does not determine the length of cycles - it is designed to detect when such cycles begin and end through the use of a statistical analysis which incorporates a moving average and a divisor reflecting both the possible and actual trading ranges.

Detrended Price Oscillator - Detrended Price Oscillator compares closing price to a prior moving average, eliminating cycles longer than the moving average.

Donchian Channel Width - Indicator that displays the width of Donchian Channels.

Ease of Movement - Highlights the relationship between volume and price changes and is particularly useful for assessing the strength of a trend.

Fast Stochastic - The Stochastic Oscillator is a momentum indicator that shows the location of the current close relative to the high/low range over a set number of periods. The Stochastic Oscillator is made up of two lines that oscillate between a vertical scale of 0 to 100. The %K is the main line and it is drawn as a solid line. The second is the %D line and is a moving average of %K. The %D line is drawn as a dotted line. The Fast Stochastic is the average of the last three %K.

MACD - (Moving Average Convergence/Divergence) The MACD indicator is an oscillator based on two exponential moving averages of a share price. Three lines are shown. The "MACD" line is calculated as the difference between the two moving averages (usually based on 12- and 26- day averages). The "signal" line is a 9-day smoothed average of the standard MACD line, and is sometimes referred to as the "slow" MACD line.

Mass Index - The Mass Index attempts to predict reversals by comparing the trading range (High minus Low) for each period. Reversals are signalled by a bulge in the index line.

Momentum - Momentum is an oscillator that measures the rate of price change (as opposed to the actual levels themselves). It is calculated by taking price differences for a fixed time interval. This positive or negative value is plotted around a zero line.

Money Flow Index - A volume indicator that combines positive and negative volume with the RSI calculation. Money flow is defined as the typical daily price times today&rsquos volume. MFI is the percentage of the total money flow that is up.

Negative Volume Index - Indicator based on the assumption that the smart money dominates trading on quiet days and that the uninformed crowd dominates trading on active days.

On Balance Volume - A technical indicator calculated by keeping a running total of the volume. When the price closes higher or lower than the previous day the volume is added or subtracted respectively.

% Price Oscillator - An indicator based on the difference between two moving averages expressed as a percentage. The PPO is found by subtracting the longer moving average from the shorter moving average and then dividing the difference by the longer moving average.

% Volume Oscillator - The percentage difference between two moving averages of volume. The oscillator fluctuates above and below zero, and a rising volume oscillator generally indicates increasing volume while a declining oscillator generally indicates declining volume.

Positive Volume Index - The Positive Volume Index ("PVI") focuses on days where the volume increased from the previous day. The premise being that the uninformed crowd takes positions on days when volume increases.

Price Volume Trend - Price and Volume Trend (PVT) is a variation of On Balance Volume, used to determine the strength of trends and warn of reversals.

Prospective EPS - The prospective EPS is the consensus estimate from brokers of the earnings per share (EPS) that the company is expected to announce for their full year results.

Prospective Dividend - The prospective dividend is the consensus estimate from brokers of the dividend per share that the company is expected to announce for their full year results.

Rate of Change - The rate of change is a ratio calculated as the price divided by the price X days ago and displayed as a percentage. The centre line is at 100, so a value below this means that the price was lower X days ago, and a value above this means that the price was higher.

RiskGrade - The RiskGrade is a measure of risk calculated by RiskMetrics based on asset-specific information and general market conditions. The average RiskGrade for the FTSE 100 index is about 100. For more details, see riskmetrics.com

RSI - The Relative Strength Index (RSI) measures a share price relative to itself and its recent history. It is calculated as the average of the prices for days where the price rose divided by the average of the prices for days where the price fell. The RSI ranges between 0 and 100.

Slow Stochastic - The Stochastic Oscillator is a momentum indicator that shows the location of the current close relative to the high/low range over a set number of periods. The Stochastic Oscillator is made up of two lines that oscillate between a vertical scale of 0 to 100. The %K is the main line and it is drawn as a solid line. The second is the %D line and is a moving average of %K. The %D line is drawn as a dotted line. The Fast Stochastic is the average of the last three %K. The Fast Stochastic is the average of the last three %K and a Slow Stochastic is a three day average of the Fast Stochastic.

StochRSI - An oscillator used to identify overbought and oversold readings in RSI (Relative Strength Index). Because RSI can go for extended periods without becoming overbought (above 70) or oversold (below 30), StochRSI provides an alternative means to identify these extremities.

TRIX - A momentum indicator showing the percent rate-of-change of a triple exponentially smoothed moving average. Like other oscillators, TRIX oscillates around a zero line.

Ultimate Oscillator - An oscillator that attempts to combine information for several different time periods into one number. Three different time periods are used, typically a 7-day period, a 14-day period, and a 28-day period. The resulting oscillator is "bounded" in that it moves between 0 and 100 with 50 as the centre line. 70 and 30 are used as overbought/oversold levels.

Volume - This displays the volume of shares traded per day as a bar chart.

Williams %R - A technical indicator which measures overbought/oversold levels in a very similar way to that of an Oscillator indicator, except that %R is plotted upside-down 0% to -100%. Readings in the range of 80 to 100% indicate that the security is oversold while readings in the 0 to 20% range suggest that it is overbought.

Share of the week

Share of the week

Our experts highlight a company they believe has good prospects.