ATR in Your Forex Strategy

Are you looking to take your forex trading to the next level? Incorporating Average True Range (ATR) into your trading strategy can help you make more informed decisions and improve your overall success in the forex market.

What is Average True Range (ATR)?

ATR is a technical analysis indicator that measures market volatility. It was developed by J. Welles Wilder Jr. and is used to calculate the average range of price movements in a given period. ATR is a versatile tool that can be used in various ways to enhance trading strategies.

How Does ATR Work?

ATR is calculated by taking the average of true range over a set number of periods, typically 14 days. True range is the largest of the following:

  1. The difference between the current high and low
  2. The difference between the current high and the previous close
  3. The difference between the current low and the previous close

By calculating ATR, traders can gauge the level of volatility in the market. Higher ATR values indicate higher volatility, while lower values indicate lower volatility. This information can help traders adjust their position sizes and set stop-loss levels accordingly.

How to Incorporate ATR into Your Trading Strategy

There are several ways you can use ATR to enhance your forex trading strategy:

  1. Setting Stop-Loss Levels: ATR can help you determine the optimal distance for your stop-loss orders. By setting your stop-loss levels based on ATR values, you can give your trades more room to breathe and avoid being stopped out prematurely.
  2. Position Sizing: ATR can also be used to adjust your position sizes based on the level of volatility in the market. As volatility increases, you can reduce your position size to account for larger price swings.
  3. Identifying Trend Strength: ATR can help you determine the strength of a trend by looking at how the indicator moves relative to price action. Increasing ATR values may indicate a strengthening trend, while decreasing values may signal a weakening trend.

By incorporating ATR into your trading strategy, you can make more informed decisions and improve your overall success in the forex market.


What is the best period to use for calculating ATR?

The most common period used for calculating ATR is 14 days, but you can adjust this value to suit your trading style and time frame. Some traders may use shorter periods for intraday trading, while others may use longer periods for swing trading.

Can ATR be used in conjunction with other indicators?

Absolutely! ATR can be combined with other technical indicators to create a more comprehensive trading strategy. For example, you can use ATR with moving averages to confirm trends or with RSI to identify overbought or oversold conditions.

Is ATR useful for all types of traders?

Yes, ATR can be helpful for traders of all experience levels and trading styles. Whether you’re a day trader, swing trader, or long-term investor, incorporating ATR into your strategy can help you make better trading decisions.


  1. Wilder, J. Welles Jr. (1978) “New Concepts in Technical Trading Systems”. Trend Research

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