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Definition of 'OHLC'

OHLC is a shorthand for saying Open, High, Low, Close, which is how a security or futures price is traditionally quoted in a given time period.

The OHLC order is important because in a given time period the first price traded at is the Open and the last price traded at is the Close so the letters representing these prices bookend the acronym. The High and Low can happen at any time in-between these two extremes and can technically happen in any order, however tradition is that the letter H comes first.

The most common chart types that represent these four prices per time period are candle and bar charts. Less common is a bar chart that excludes the Opening price and if you see a line chart of security prices then that will by default be of the Closing prices although most charting software allows you to define which of the four prices (or derivative of them) is shown on the chart.

See also OHLCV

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