Understanding MACD Histogram for Forex Trading

Welcome to our guide on understanding the MACD histogram and how to use it effectively for forex trading. The MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence) is a popular technical analysis tool used by traders to identify potential buy or sell signals in the market. The MACD histogram is a visual representation of the difference between the MACD line and the signal line, providing traders with valuable insights into the strength of a trend.

What is the MACD Histogram?

The MACD histogram is a bar chart that fluctuates above and below the zero line. It is derived from the MACD line and the signal line, which are calculated using exponential moving averages of different periods.

When the MACD line crosses above the signal line, the histogram bars will move above the zero line, indicating a bullish trend. Conversely, when the MACD line crosses below the signal line, the histogram bars will move below the zero line, signaling a bearish trend.

How to Use the MACD Histogram for Forex Trading

Traders can utilize the MACD histogram in various ways to make informed trading decisions. Here are some common strategies:

  1. Crossing Zero Line: When the histogram bars cross above the zero line, it signals a potential buy signal. Conversely, when the bars cross below the zero line, it indicates a potential sell signal.
  2. Divergence: Divergence occurs when the price of an asset moves in the opposite direction of the MACD histogram. This can be a powerful signal of a potential reversal in the trend.
  3. Zero Line Cross: A crossover of the histogram bars across the zero line can signal a change in the momentum of the trend.
  4. Confirmation: Traders can use the MACD histogram to confirm trend reversals identified by other technical indicators.


Q: What is the difference between the MACD line and the signal line?

A: The MACD line is the difference between two exponential moving averages, typically a 12-period EMA and a 26-period EMA. The signal line is a 9-period EMA of the MACD line.

Q: How can I adjust the settings of the MACD histogram?

A: Traders can adjust the settings of the MACD histogram by changing the periods of the exponential moving averages used in the calculation. Experimenting with different settings can help traders find the optimal configuration for their trading strategy.

Q: Can the MACD histogram be used in conjunction with other technical indicators?

A: Yes, traders often use the MACD histogram in combination with other technical indicators such as moving averages, RSI, and Fibonacci retracements to enhance their trading strategy.


1. Murphy, John J. Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets. New York Institute of Finance, 1999.

2. Pring, Martin J. Technical Analysis Explained. McGraw-Hill, 2002.

3. Khan, Naeem. A Beginner’s Guide to Forex Trading. Independently published, 2021.

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