atr Formula for Forex Trading: Guide to Calculating Volatility

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What is Forex and ATR Formula?

Forex is the biggest financial market in the world. A wide range of currencies is traded in this market, and the value of different currencies is constantly changing due to the forces of demand and supply. Forex trading has become increasingly popular in the past decades and is a great way to make money. To understand the market and its trend better, traders use technical analysis which incorporates different indicators and formulas. Average True Range (ATR) is one such indicator which is used for predicting the volatility of the market.

ATR Formula is a technical analysis indicator which measures the average range of the price movements of a currency pair in a given period of time. It is calculated using a simple equation which involves the calculation of the True Range of the currency pair. The ATR is displayed in the form of a percentage or a point value which shows how much the currency pair has moved in a given time. ATR Formula is a great way to identify which assets are trending and which are not.

Advantages of ATR Metric

One of the key advantages of the ATR metric is that it is relatively easy to understand. It does not take into consideration any other factors like economic data or political news and focuses exclusively on price movements. Moreover, it has the ability to measure the true range of prices, which is very useful for trading in a volatile market. Another advantage of the ATR metric is that it is applicable across different markets and different time frames, making it a versatile indicator.

The ATR metric helps traders to identify potential entry points and stop loss levels, allowing them to protect their capital in potential losing trades. Moreover, it can be used to measure the overall trend of the market and help traders to adjust their trading strategies accordingly. Lastly, the ATR metric can also be used to identify potential support and resistance levels, which can be used to enter and exit trades.

Limitations of ATR Metric

As with any technical indicator, the ATR metric has its own set of limitations. It does not take into consideration any other factors like economic data or political news and focuses solely on price movements. Moreover, the ATR metric does not accurately measure the volatility of the market, as it does not take into consideration the duration of the trend.

Moreover, the ATR metric does not guarantee that the signals generated are always accurate. As such, ATR trading strategies should be used with caution to avoid losses. Lastly, the ATR metric is not suited for determining the strength of the underlying trend, as it only looks at the range of prices and not the direction of price movement.

What is ATR Formula?

Average True Range (ATR) is a technical analysis volatility indicator developed by J. Welles Wilder Jr. in the 1978’s. It is a measure of volatility calculated by taking the moving average of the absolute difference between a given period’s high and low price. ATR provides institutions, traders and investors with an insight into whether a security has recently been volatile. ATR is used to project a period’s volatility by taking into account any gaps in the price movement.

ATR Calculation and Use

Typically, the ATR calculation is based on 14 periods, which can be intraday, daily, weekly, or whatever is available for the security being studied. The first ATR value is calculated using the arithmetic mean formula: ATR = (High – Low)/n. In this formula, “n” equals the number of periods being measured, while “TR” represents true range. The true range for a trading period is the difference between the current period’s high and low price, or the gap between today’s high and yesterday’s close unless today’s low is less than yesterday’s close, in which case the true range is considered to be the difference between today’s low and yesterday’s close. The ATR is used to determine the moving average of the wilder’s true range values.

ATR is primarily used as a metric to measure and analyze volatility. Institutional and retail investors use ATR to assess the degree of risk, as well as to make trading decisions. When the volatility is low, the ATR value decreases, suggesting that the security is in a range bound period and is not likely to make sudden price moves. On the other hand, if the ATR value increases, it indicates that the instrument is making volatile moves and thus is more likely to make sudden price jumps.


In conclusion, the ATR formula is a useful tool for understanding the volatility of a security. It provides investors with an insight into the recent instability of a security and thus lets them make more educated trading decisions. ATR is also a great way to anticipate the direction of the market so that investors can make trades accordingly. As a result, ATR is an important indicator for any investor to keep track of.

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