what is a sell limit order in forex

by Mar 4, 2021Forex Order Types

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What is Limit Order

There are two limit Forex order types, buy and sell. Buy or sell limit order have logic in a way that the current price on the market must first reach that level in the direction, for buy(bear market) or for sell(bull) and then order will be triggered.

That means when you want to use the Sell Limit order market price must move in bull direction(long – UP) from current position and when price reaches a certain level you have defined, a level at which you have set pending sell limit order then order will be triggered.

When you want to use the Buy Limit order market price must move in bear direction(short – DOWN) from current position and when price reaches a certain level you have defined, a level at which you have set pending buy order then order will be triggered.

Generally meaning is you expect that the market will change direction when price reaches the level you expect.

Limit order is used mostly in swing trading where traders expect that trend will reverse. Limit orders are placed mostly on a confluence level where several indicators meet and indicates that price could reverse.

Let me explain this with examples. It will be easier to understand.

What is a Sell Limit Order in Forex

As explained above, limit order is when you wait for the price to reach a certain price level and then reverse back.

Sell limit order in Forex is the case when you have price rising up. The price of a base currency is gaining value.

On one level you expect the price will change the direction. You expect that the price will reverse back and it will move DOWN.

The change will be from bullish sentiment to bearish sentiment.

On that level you open the sell limit order and wait for the price to come up. When the price reaches that level it will automatically activate and you will have open order. There is no need to sit in front of your computer or smartphone and wait for the price to activate the sell limit order.

Everything will be done automatically.

If you shut down your PC or smartphone your sell limit order will still be activated. The reason is that your order is sent to the broker server and your sell limit order details, like entry level, stop loss and take profit level are saved on the server.

Those data are not saved on your PC or smartphone so there is no worry they will be cancelled once you turn off your PC or smartphone.

Sell Limit Order Stop Loss

Sell limit order can have other details set like stop loss and profit level. Stop loss is very important because you do not want to have sell limit order activated without stop loss.

If the trade becomes a losing trade you want to cut your loss and have the sell limit order closed.

If you do not set a stop loss you can expect that the price will not reverse and you lose your money. And without stop loss the only level that can close your order is margin call.

Margin call will be activated when your account balance loses the majority of the money. That is not something you want to happen to you.

Sell Limit Order Profit Level

Profit level is also good to set because if you are not following the market when your sell limit is activated you can expect that the order will close when you reach target level.

Without a profit level set it can happen that the market reverses and reaches your target level, but it does not close. Then the market can continue to rise up and reach your stop loss level.

That is the case you do not want to happen. The case when your order is profitable and then close as losing one.

To avoid that you should always set a profit level so you make money when the market reverses from the sell limit entry point.

How to Open Sell Limit Order

On the image below I have made one example to simplify whole process of Sell Limit order.

Think in this way when you want to explain to yourself how Sell Limit order works.

If you want to sell EUR/USD currency pair in the future at the price that is higher than current market price(example – 1.12778) you will activate Sell Limit order. Meaning, you expect that market will move in reverse direction, short(DOWN), when EUR/USD price reaches level 1.13430.

This way you expect by your trading strategy that pair must come to 1.13430 level and then price will reverse and start to move down. If price does not reach that level you do not expect that it will reverse and your trade will not be activated.


How to Open Sell Limit Order in Metatrader 4 – Example

Now let’s see how does it looks like when you want to open sell limit order in Metatrader 4 trading platform.

You need to select new order on the Metatrader 4 and order window will open. Here you need to select:

  • Order Type
    • Pending Order
  • Type
    • Sell Limit
  • Volume
    • which lot size do you want to open
  • Price
    • at which price order will open
  • Stop Loss
  • Take Profit
    • at which price your order will close if order becomes profitable one
    • pay attention that take profit must be under price you have set to open sell limit order

Those are main conditions you need to fulfill before you can open order. When you have entered correct data you will have “Place” button available to select. If some of the data is not correct you will not be able to select “Place” button which is helpful.


It says to you that there is error in entered data.

Sell Limit Order Example

Mostly error is in Price or Stop Loss/Take Profit levels because traders cannot understand how to enter correct values for Sell Limit order.


When you entered correct data and activated “Place” button you will get confirmation message as image below. It says to you that you have placed sell limit order at specific price with SL(Stop Loss) and TP(Take Profit) levels.

You need to confirm message by pressing “OK” button. 


When you take a look into chart you will see your sell limit order. There is three lines on the chart indicating your sell limit price, stop loss and take profit levels.

As you can see my sell limit price(1.13440) is above current market price(1.12789), my stop loss(1.13700) is above sell limit price and take profit price(1.13000) is under sell limit price.

I am expecting that price after it hits my sell limit order at 1.13440 it will reverse and fall DOWN and when it hits 1.13000 order will close and I will earn money. 


Know that you can close your order whenever you want. You do not need to wait, take profit level or it hits you to stop loss.

If you are watching the market live and you see that the market could reverse earlier than you thought at the first time, you just open the order window and close it.

That way you react earlier if you see possible problems and take the profit before it hits your stop loss or you can prevent bigger loss if the trade becomes losing trade.

Sell Limit Expiration Date

As you can see at the beginning of opening a sell limit order in Forex you have the possibility to set an expiration date.

That is the setting that will close your order if your order does not open up to that date.

For example, if today is 01.02. and I set the expiration date to 15.02. the trading platform will close my order if the price does not reach my entry level.

This is useful for you because you can cancel the sell limit order if the price does not play as you thought it could.

Your strategy for sell limit order can be valid for a day or few days. And to prevent some problems in the future after your strategy is no more valid you use the expiration date to close pending sell limit orders.


Sell limit order in Forex is a very good tool to have if you are using swing trading.

Swing trading is when you expect that the price will change direction somewhere in the future at the certain level.

Sell limit order have other details like stop loss and profit level which you should use each time to use the most of the sell limit order.

One of the strategies you can use to set sell limit order is to place them on the confluence level. Confluence level is where several support or resistance lines cross.

That area will give more chances to sell limit order be a profitable trade.


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Frano Grgić

Frano Grgić

A Forex trader since 2009. I like to share my knowledge and I like to analyze the markets. My goal is to have a website which will be the first choice for traders and beginners. Market analysis is featured by Forex Factory next to large publications like DailyFX, Bloomberg... GetKnowTrading is becoming recognized among traders as a website with simple and effective market analysis.

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