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What are the types of trading in stock markets?

Written by - Marisha Bhatt

October 8, 2023 6 minutes

We are halfway through 2023 and so far the year has been quite good for the Indian stock markets. We saw Nifty and Sensex reach all-time highs in September 2023 which shows the confidence of the world and domestic participants in the India stock markets. Has this tempted you to join the trading bandwagon as well? If yes, then you need to start with the basics. Did you know that there are many forms or styles of trading in stock markets? That’s right and to be successful in trading, you need to know which form of trading suits you best and can align with your risk perceptions and your goals. So check out this blog to know all about the different types of trading and understand what works best for you. 

Read More: Top 6 online stock market courses in India

Some of the popular trading forms in stock markets are-

Day trading or intraday trading

This is one of the most popular forms of trading. Day Trading or Intraday trading involves buying and selling stocks or other securities like commodities or currency within the same day. This trading style requires traders to be able to make quick decisions and execute trades. Day traders aim to profit from the short-term price movements of stocks or their target securities. By leveraging market volatility. Day traders rely heavily on technical analysis tools like charts, candlesticks and indicators to identify the potentially profitable entry and exit points for their target securities. This, therefore, requires traders to have a thorough understanding of the stock markets and its concepts like stop loss, risk management and the movement of securities due to market fluctuations. 

Swing trading

Swing trading is in contrast to day trading as traders hold their trading positions for several days to weeks. The aim of swing trading is to capitalise on short-term to medium-term price fluctuations. Unlike day trading, swing traders rely on both fundamental analysis as well as technical analysis to make informed trading decisions. Traders in swing trading look for stocks with the potential for price swings and thereby attempt to profit from these movements. Swing trading offers a more relaxed pace as compared to day trading and is therefore suitable for traders who prefer a less hectic approach to stock trading or may not be able to dedicate sufficient trading hours.


Scalping is a high-frequency trading technique employed by traders looking to profit significantly from multiple small price fluctuations. Scalpers make numerous quick trades throughout the trading day, aiming to capture tiny profits from each trade. This strategy requires advanced technical skills, quick reflexes, and the ability to manage risk effectively. Therefore, scalping, being like a high-stakes game, is not generally recommended for beginners due to its fast-paced nature and the potential for significant losses.

Positional trading

Positional trading is a longer-term approach where traders and investors hold stocks for extended periods which can span for months or years. This strategy involves analysing a company’s fundamentals along with its growth potential and overall market trends. Positional traders can be considered similar to long-term investors to some extent as they aim to benefit from long-term price appreciation and dividends. This strategy is therefore suitable for traders with a long-term approach and a patient investment outlook as well as the ability to withstand market fluctuations.

Momentum trading 

Under momentum trading, traders focus on buying stocks that have exhibited strong recent price trends. This approach hinges on the belief that these established trends will persist over a defined time frame. In order to uncover potential momentum stocks, traders use various technical indicators to identify the price and volume patterns. These analytical tools help them spot stocks that exhibit an upward or downward momentum trajectory thereby allowing them to initiate trades with the expectation of capturing further price gains or declines. Momentum trading can be a profitable trading strategy but requires discipline and the ability to exit positions when the momentum begins to fade.

Delivery trading

Delivery trading involves purchasing stocks with the intent of taking physical delivery of the shares. This strategy is similar to long-term investing where investors believe in the growth prospects of the companies they invest in. It allows investors to receive dividends and exercise voting rights in the company as well. Unlike some other trading strategies that involve frequent buying and selling of stocks for quick profits, delivery trading is characterized by a patient and steadfast approach, where investors hold onto their purchased shares for an extended period.

Hi-Frequency trading

High Frequency Trading (HFT) is a sophisticated and rapid-paced trading approach predominantly employed by institutional investors and specialised proprietary trading firms. This strategy is characterised by its ability to execute an immense volume of trades within incredibly short timeframes, often measured in milliseconds or even microseconds. The core of HFT’s effectiveness lies in its utilization of advanced algorithms and cutting-edge technology infrastructure to identify and capitalize on minuscule price discrepancies that exist in the financial markets. The primary objective of HFT is to generate profits by exploiting these tiny market inefficiencies. To succeed in this strategy, HFT firms require substantial financial resources, as the cost of implementing and maintaining the necessary high-speed trading systems can be exceptionally high. This barrier to entry makes HFT an impractical option for most individual traders, as it necessitates access to significant capital and specialised technical expertise.


Understanding the various types of trading is the primary step in the stock trading journey and also helps in devising trading plans accordingly. Traders should ensure that the type of trading aligns with their risk perception or risk appetite as well as other factors like the amount of time they can devote to trading, capital availability, etc.

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