All futures contracts have a limited lifetime. After a certain date (the expiration date), they are not traded anymore. If you want to chart a longer data history for technical analysis, you have to find a way to combine several futures contracts together. This can be done with continuation charts.
Continuation charts use virtual futures contracts, so-called continuous contracts, and plot them on the chart. A continuous contract is constructed with data from several normal futures contracts. In the easiest construction method, whenever one contract expires, you continue with the data of the next contract. However, this simple method often leads to price gaps in the chart, and can be misleading, because usually a contract has lower trading volume and open interest already for some time before its expiration date. Therefore, more sophisticated methods to merge the different contracts together have been developed. Many of them are available in TeleTrader WorkStation.
When you create a continuation chart, you define some initial settings (you can later change these settings of course). With these settings, you can control what futures contracts (expiration months) are used for constructing the continuation chart, when the switch (rollover) between two contracts will take place, and if and how the prices of older contracts are adjusted to avoid gaps in the chart on rollover.
Continuation charts look like normal charts, except that they have an additional marker to show you when the rollover from one contract into the next took place. This rollover bar, candle or data point is shown in a different color than other bars on Financial charts (with the exception of Line and Stair Step charts).
▪ Right-click on the chart and select Properties.
▪ On the left side of the dialog, select the name of the chart pane, the name of the symbol and then Line Style. For example: Pane 1 > FDAX 2009H,CC > Line Style.
▪ On the right side of the dialog, select a color used for the Rollover Bar.