Forex macd: How to Use Just the MACD FOREX Chart Zacks

February 19, 2021 2:23 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

momentum indicator

With the MACD, you get two of the three technical features you need, missing only volatility. In oversold conditions, RSI suggests that traders may have overreacted and have now created value by depressing price and demand for a currency pair. Though this strategy isn’t recommended for trading stocks, it works well in forex, where a larger position equates to larger gains in the event of a reversal. Compared to other indicators you might use, MACD is a straightforward tool that lends itself to quick, clear analysis. Beginning traders can incorporate MACD into their trading strategy with full confidence in their ability to interpret its insights. The length of the MACD histogram is indicative of price momentum, whereas the position of the histogram in relation to the signal line reveals the direction of the trend.

convergence divergence indicator

One of the most significant risks is that a reversal signal can be a false indicator. For instance, the zero-cross image above has a point where the MACD crosses from below and back again in one trading session. If a trader entered a long position when the MACD crossed from below, they would be left with a losing stock if prices continued to fall. The MACD indicator has a default value of 12 and 26 exponential moving averages and a 9-period simple moving average . MACD, short for Moving Average Convergence/Divergence, is a highly effective and popular technical indicator used to identify market trends.

signal line crossed

A basic understanding of moving averages will aid a trader’s use of the MACD indicator for optimal results. We just talked about the histogram being a vital component of the MACD indicator. It is also used to identify divergence i.e when price movement of an asset or a currency pair is asymmetric to that of the technical indicator. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 85% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Shortly after, we get a Hammer Reversal candle, which provides additional confirmation of the bullish scenario. In MetaTrader MT4, the red line shown by the MACD indicator is usually the signal line. When the MACD line the signal line from above to below, the signal is bearish. You very probably won’t ever need to calculate the MACD indicator manually, but you will get a better understanding of the indicator if you know how its output is derived. If you don’t like the product for whatever reason, we will return the whole amount you paid us. You are trying to install a desktop version on your smartphone.

When the MACD histogram bars grow longer, this tells you the price has increasing momentum. When the bars are getting shorter, there is shrinking price momentum. Another way to read the MACD Indicator is when the MACD line crosses the signal line from above to below, it is a bearish signal, and vice versa for a bullish signal. A “signal-line crossover” occurs when the MACD and average lines cross; that is, when the divergence changes sign.

Adjust time frames to clarify signals.

Alternatively, you can let the trade close by take profit, which, depending on the risk management, can be equal to one or two distances from the position opening level to the stop loss. Buy when the fast MACD line crosses the signal line from the bottom up and the MACD histogram rises above 0 and becomes positive. The same principle works for a classic bearish divergence, only we look for a divergence at the highs, and the signal itself must be within a bullish trend. If you are confused and have problems studying all three types, I recommend remembering the signs of only one type – classic divergence.

Thomas’ experience gives him expertise in a variety of areas including investments, retirement, insurance, and financial planning. Full BioKathy Lien is a founding partner and the managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, directing the firm’s analytical techniques. A histogram is a graphical representation that organizes a group of data points into user-specified ranges.

On the picture below, you can see that in a downtrend it’s wise to trade only negative MACD crossovers with the signal line. The MACD works best in trends when the price range in rather narrow. A good strategy may be to establish a trend and then to use only those MACD signals which are in line with this trend.

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That said, there are a number of indicator combinations that work well with the MACD. This combines the crossover from the MACD with the overbought/oversold signals from the MFI. So, if the MFI gives a signal that an asset is overbought, we simply wait for a bearish cross in the MACD and then go short. The exit signal is when the MACD crosses in the other direction. One of the main signals is a strong bullish or bearish divergence between the curves – overbought and oversold conditions. When the moving averages converge, on the contrary, indicates the formation of price equilibrium, which is typical for a stable trend.

Example MACD indicator strategy trades

Please note that foreign exchange and other leveraged trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved, seeking independent advice if necessary. Conversely, when the MACD line drops below the signal line, this is generally seen as a bearish signal, and may prompt traders to consider a short position. As with many trend-trading strategies, it works best on currencies or time frames that trend well. Therefore, it is difficult to implement this strategy on currencies that are typically range-bound, like EUR/GBP.


Then with simple math calculations, we can make conclusions about effectiveness or irrelevance of the chosen strategy. The price line is above the 200 Moving Average pointing the uptrend. In the section “Further adjustments” we are going mention what other settings you can use for the advanced variations. However, is there a tool that can indicate the trend better than the Simple Moving Average? The difference between the MACD and its Signal line is often plotted as a bar chart and called a “histogram”. BlackBull Markets is a reliable and well-respected trading platform that provides its customers with high-quality access to a wide range of asset groups.

Below I will compare it with popular technical indicators, describe the advantages and disadvantages, and also touch on the topic of combining indicators. Let’s try to identify long-term strong trends in the dailyEURUSD chart. Inside the blue area, there is positive growth of the MACD histogram.


You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work. Please see our Risk Disclosure Notice so you can fully understand the risks involved and whether you can afford to take the risk. The market entry occurs when the price reverse is confirmed by the break of the upper trend line . Next, you need to set the parameter (open, close, candlestick’s highest and lowest values) which will determine the remaining criteria. MACD SMA is a parameter of the MACD moving average itself. The higher the parameter, the further away the average will move from the histogram, and they will intersect less often.

Stay on top of upcoming events with our customisable economic calendar. Discover the range of markets and learn how they work – with IG Academy’s online course. I’m new to trading and I’m in lots of confusing which indicator is used. So, from your point, If you are in beginning stage which one you used?.

  • Our gain and loss percentage calculator quickly tells you the percentage of your account balance that you have won or lost.
  • By waiting for two counter-trend moves in the histogram, it mitigates the chance that such a move will be a one-off rather than a reversal.
  • The exit signal is when the MACD crosses in the other direction.
  • A “positive divergence” or “bullish divergence” occurs when the price makes a new low but the MACD does not confirm with a new low of its own.

It shows the degree of divergence of the moving averages. Two EMAs are used for the MACD calculation that includes two moving average lines the fast and slow. Subsequently, the long moving average is subtracted from the short one, and then the difference is flattened using a simple moving average. As a result, technical traders see only two curves – the MACD line and a signal line.

Final Thoughts on Using MACD and RSI Together

While a MACD can be traded on its own, using price action to provide a context for trades is often prudent. In the case of the MACD, a bullish divergence setup is seen when price makes a new swing low and the histogram fails to make a corresponding lower low. The histogram increase in height corresponds to price strength towards a particular direction and the histogram decrease in height from a peak means a change in price direction is imminent. The frequency of line cross signals can be reduced by increasing the input value for the signal line, this will help to avoid a bunch of false signals. This class is for anyone interested inlearning a super easy and profitable Forex trading strategy. The zero cross strategy is based on either of the EMAs crossing the zero line.

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Another advantage of thetradingview screener is the option to set alerts, a set of pre-configured templates for filtering, and the ability to create your own. By default, when the columns are in the positive zone, they are colored green, and when in the negative value zone, they are colored red. Alternatively, we can use an additional condition — changing the slope of the fast MACD line. On the chart, this signal appears a little later in the area of ​​the purple circle. At this point, we close the position, making a much larger profit. Next, we closely monitor the behavior of the MACD histogram, which, amid a fall in price, goes into a negative value zone and forms a new bottom .

Subtract a short-term moving average from a long-term one. If the system generates a reversal signal — close the previous position first. But shorter timeframes are recommended, as they yield more opportunities. Regardless of your evaluation, the divergence of MACD and RSI indicators is a notable development and may play a role in your decision to maintain or close out a position. When strong momentum for a forex pair develops, other indicators are likely to take precedence over RSI in your decision-making process.

Essentially, it calculates the difference between an instrument’s 26-how to invest in buy & sell us stocks in the philippines and 12-day exponential moving averages . In calculating their values, both moving averages use the closing prices of whatever period is measured. This is one of the most popular ways of MACD application.


A Bollinger Band® is a momentum indicator used in technical analysis that depicts two standard deviations above and below a simple moving average. Moving average convergence divergence is one of the most-used oscillators because it has been proven to be a reliable method for identifying trend reversals and momentum. There are various strategies for trading MACD, but it’s best to find one that works for you and your trading plan. If it crosses from above the zero line, it is considered a bearish signal by traders, who then enter short positions to take advantage of falling prices and increasing downward momentum.

Modern traders actively use the MACD to trade currency pairs, precious metals, energy, stocks, futures, and even cryptocurrencies. Below I will talk about trading the S&P 500, gold, and the EURUSD. Using the example of the American stock exchangeS&P 500 index, I will show you an alternative trading option.

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This post was written by Ciara Darmody

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