Best Time Frame for Intraday Trading

Stock markets

by Tanushree Jaiswal Last Updated: Jul 31, 2023 - 03:07 pm 378 Views

Intraday trading involves taking a position and squaring it off on the same day, so as to make a profit from the intraday movement in a stock or other securities. The idea is to make a profit from short-term fluctuation in prices and close out the position before the end of the trading day.

Day traders monitor the market throughout the day, analyzing charts and indicators, and executing multiple trades. Intraday trading can be highly volatile, hence traders have to be alert to price changes all the time. 

Traders may use various strategies, including technical analysis, chart patterns, and news events, to identify potential short-term opportunities.

What is Intraday Time Analysis?

Intraday Time Analysis is a technique used in the financial markets to analyse price movements and trends within a single trading day. It involves studying the price action and volume of financial instruments like stocks, currencies, commodities, or indices over short time intervals during the trading day.

Traders and analysts who employ Intraday Time Analysis typically examine price charts with various timeframes, such as one-minute, five-minute, fifteen-minute, or thirty-minute intervals, based on their trading strategies and preferences. This approach allows them to capture intraday price fluctuations and identify potential trading opportunities.

In this type of analysis, traders use tools such as candlestick charts to observe open, high, low, and close prices for specific time intervals, enabling them to spot price patterns and trends. Additionally, they may employ technical indicators like Moving Averages, Relative Strength Index (RSI), Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD), and Bollinger Bands to interpret price movements and identify potential entry or exit points.

Volume analysis is also an essential part of Intraday Time Analysis, as traders consider trading volume alongside price movements to assess the strength of a trend or identify potential reversals. Furthermore, they often analyze support and resistance levels to determine potential price turning points.

Intraday traders seek to benefit from strong price movements by employing breakout and breakdown strategies, where they look for price breakouts above resistance levels or breakdowns below support levels.

Should You Trade in the First 15 Minutes?

Trading in the first 15 minutes of a session can be tempting due to the potential for quick price movements and opportunities to capitalize on early market trends. However, it's crucial to understand that trading during this period can be particularly risky, and it may not be suitable for everyone. Several factors should be considered when deciding whether to trade in the first fifteen minutes:

Volatility: The initial minutes of the trading day can experience higher volatility as the market reacts to overnight news, economic data, or corporate announcements. While volatility can present trading opportunities, it also increases the risk of sudden and unpredictable price swings.

Lack of Direction: During the first fifteen minutes, the market may lack a clear direction as traders and investors are still absorbing information and placing their initial trades. This lack of direction can result in choppy and erratic price movements, making it challenging to establish reliable trends.

Liquidity: Liquidity tends to be lower in the first few minutes compared to later in the trading session. This lower liquidity can lead to wider bid-ask spreads and difficulty executing trades at desired prices, which may impact trading costs and overall profitability.

False Signals: Due to the increased volatility and lower liquidity, traders may encounter more false signals and noise in the price action during the early minutes of trading. This can lead to making hasty and ill-informed decisions.

Market Open Order Imbalance: At the opening bell, there may be an order imbalance as a large number of buy or sell orders are executed simultaneously. This imbalance can cause sharp price moves that may not necessarily reflect the underlying fundamentals.

Types of Intraday Trading Charts

Intraday trading charts are graphical representations of price movements and other relevant data for financial instruments within a single trading day. These charts are essential tools for traders to analyze and make decisions on short-term price movements. Several types of intraday trading charts are commonly used. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Line Chart: A basic chart that connects closing prices for each time interval (e.g., minute, five minutes, or 15 minutes) with a line. It helps identify the overall trend but lacks detailed information on price fluctuations during the day.

Bar Chart: This chart provides more information than a line chart by showing the open, high, low, and closing prices for each time interval as vertical bars.

Candlestick Chart: Similar to the bar chart, the candlestick chart displays the open, high, low, and closing prices for each time interval. It uses coloured "candlesticks" to represent the price range within that period.

Heikin-Ashi Chart: Derived from candlestick charts, the Heikin-Ashi chart uses a modified calculation to create smoother and more visually interpretable candlesticks.

Renko Chart: Renko charts focus solely on price movements and ignore time. Each "brick" on the chart represents a fixed price movement.

Point and Figure Chart: Point and Figure charts disregard time and plot price movements based on a set "box" size. These charts are particularly useful for identifying support and resistance levels and trend reversals.

Tick Chart: Tick charts display a new bar after a certain number of trades have occurred, rather than at specific time intervals. This type of chart allows traders to see market activity based on transaction volume.

Range Bar Chart: Range bar charts disregard time and plot bars based on a specific price range. This can help filter out noise and emphasize significant price movements.

Importance of Intraday Trading Charts

Intraday trading charts hold significant importance for traders in the fast-paced world of financial markets. These graphical representations offer a visual insight into price movements within a single trading day, enabling traders to identify trends, support and resistance levels, and chart patterns. By analyzing charts with different time intervals, such as one-minute or five-minute periods, traders can capitalize on short-term price movements and make real-time decisions.

Technical indicators combined with these charts provide additional information and signals for refining trading strategies and managing risks effectively. Intraday charts play a crucial role in determining entry and exit points for trades, helping traders execute well-timed transactions.

Moreover, these charts not only reflect price movements but also offer insights into market psychology and sentiment. Understanding and utilizing intraday trading charts can significantly enhance a trader's chances of success, enabling them to navigate the complexities of intraday trading with precision and confidence.

The Best Time Frame for Intraday Traders

Experts are divided in the opinion on the best time frame for intraday trading, but most of them agree on avoiding the initial and the last one hour due to volatility as the market reacts to overnight news, economic data, or corporate announcements. While volatility can present trading opportunities, it also increases the risk of sudden and unpredictable price swings.

A similar volatility is also likely in the last hour of trading as many traders are squaring off positions. 

Hence, the best time to enter the market would be after 10 am when the initial volatility has subsided and the ideal time to square off trade would be by 2.30 pm.


Intraday trading is for people who stay on their toes all the time, keeping abreast of the charts, news etc to take advantage of small anticipated movements within a day. Each trader should do a reading of charts to understand what time frame is best for them, but it is mostly advisable to avoid the first and last few minutes.

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About the Author

Tanushree is a seasoned professional with 6 years of experience in the Fintech and Edtech industry.

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