Trader's Glossary

Period

In trading a period is a standardised unit of time used in the monitoring of an asset. On a candlestick chart each candlestick refers to one period, which, depending on the time frame being observed by the trader, could refer to 1 minute, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours, 1 day, 1 week and 1 month respectively. When a moving average is calculated it takes the period data of the time frame being charted. So a 26 period simple moving average at a chart duration of 1 hour is the closing prices from 26 hours of trading activity added together and divided by 26. A 26 period moving average charted at the 1 minute duration will take the sum of the closing prices from 26 minutes of trading activity and divide this number by 26.