What is MACD Indicator in Forex Trading?

Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that ratifies the relation between 2 moving averages of a security's price. Traders are making use of the MACD to spot when bullish or bearish momentum is high to spot entry and exit points for trades. 

Moving average convergence divergence (MACD), discovered in 1979 by Gerald Appel, MACD is one of the foremost widespread technical indicators in trading.
The MACD is recognized by traders in the forex market on top of its simplicity and ductility because it will be used either as a trend or momentum indicator. 

The full form of MACD is Moving Average Convergence Divergence, which is a technical indicator that indicates the trend and momentum of a stock by using its Exponential Moving Average (EMA). 

MACD overview

  • MACD is a technical analysis indicator that focuses to spot changes in share price momentum. The MACD collects data from completely different moving averages to assist traders to establish doable opportunities around support and resistance levels. 
  • Convergence means 2 moving averages are approaching together, whereas divergence implies that they’re moving far from one another. 
  •  The MACD is calculated by deducting the 26-period exponential moving average (EMA) from the 12-period EMA. 
  • The calculation result is the MACD line. A nine-day EMA of the MACD referred to as the "signal line," is then planned on high of the MACD line, which may perform as a trigger for buy and sell signals
  • Traders gain confidence once the MACD crosses higher than its signal line and sell or short the security once the MACD crosses below the signal line.
  • Moving average convergence divergence (MACD) indicators are often understood in many ways in which, however, the common ways are to measure crossovers, divergences, and speedy rises/falls. 
  • The crossover looks at a security's price and a technical indicator line cross, or once 2 indicators themselves cross in a trading chart.
  • Crossovers are accustomed estimate the performance of a financial instrument and predicting coming back changes in trend, like reversals or breakouts.
  •  Divergence is when the value of an asset is taking possession of the other direction of a technical indicator, like an oscillator, or is moving opposite to different data.
  • Divergence alert that the present price trend also is worn out, and in some cases could cause the price to change direction. 
  • There is a positive and negative divergence. Positive divergence indicates a move higher within the price of the asset is feasible. Negative divergence signals that a move lower within the asset is feasible. 

 MACD Calculation 

  • MACD is calculated by deducting the long-run EMA (26 periods) from the short-run EMA (12 periods).EMA is a type of moving average (MA) that places a larger weight and importance on the new data points. 
  • An exponentially weighted moving average reacts additional signally to recent price changes than a simple moving average (SMA), which applies an equal weight to all or any observations within the amount. 

MACD Formula 

MACD=12-Period EMA − 26-Period EMA 

The MACD indicator is created from 3 components: 

  • The MACD line calculates the distance between 2 moving averages 
  • The signal line, spot changes in worth momentum and acts as a trigger for buy and sell signals 
  • The histogram or bar chart displays the distinction between the MACD and also the signal line 

In the calculation of their values, each moving averages use the closing prices of no matter period is measured. On the MACD chart, a nine-day EMA of the MACD itself is planned further, and it acts as a trigger for buy and sells options.

The MACD generates a bullish signal once it moves higher than its own nine-day EMA, and it sends a sell sign once it moves below its nine-day EMA. 

The MACD histogram is a sublime visual illustration of the distinction between the MACD and its nine-day EMA. The bar chart is positive once the MACD is higher than its nine-day EMA and negative once the MACD is below its nine-day EMA. If costs are rising, the bar chart grows larger because the speed of the value movement accelerates, and contracts as worth movement decelerate. the identical principle works in reverse as prices are falling. 

The MACD histogram is the main reason why such a large amount of traders suppose this indicator to measure momentum as a result of it responds to the speed of worth movement. Indeed, most traders use the MACD indicator additional ofttimes to measure the strength of the value move than to see the direction of a trend. 

Pros and cons of implementing the MACD 

Pros of avail the MACD 

  • The MACD indicator is therefore broadly used as a result of its straightforward reliability. Its image comes from the 2 completely different signals that it gives: the strength of the trend and also the turning purpose of the trend. The MACD not solely determines whether or not a trend is up or down, however it is the strength of buy and sell signals. 
  • Traders may value more highly to use a simple moving average strategy to set their buy and sell signals, however, this gauge may be delayed, which suggests the market conditions might modify before the trade is dead. this can be why the moving average convergence/divergence indicator is widespread because it provides an up-to-date representation of what's happening within the market. 

Cons of implementing the MACD 

  • While with any indicator, the MACD is running with flaws and is used different technical analysis tools. 
  • Another major downside is that the MACD may be a short-term indicator because the longest measurement that it takes into consideration is the 26-day moving average. If a trader features a longer-term outlook than this, the MACD might not be suitable.
  • The other disadvantage is that the MACD may be a trend-following indicator. This suggests that the indicator offers its signals because the trend happens, not before it starts. So, if you're trying to acknowledge a coming trend, the MACD isn't the simplest indicator for this function.

An Illustration of MACD trading strategy

  • LONG/SHORT: Take long MACD signals once the price is on top of the 200-period moving average.
  • ENTRY: buy once the MACD crosses over the zero line.
  • EXIT: Sell at a profit or loss once the MACD crosses below the zero line.


  • Similar to life, trading is never black and white. Some rules that traders agree on blindly, like ne'er adding to a loser, are with success broken to realize extraordinary profits.
  • However, a logical, organized approach to violating these necessary cash management rules has to be established before trying to capture gains. 
  • In the case of the MACD bar graph, Trading the indicator rather than the price offers a replacement way to trade a previous idea: divergence. Applying this methodology to the FX market, which permits easy scaling from positions, makes this concept even additional intriguing to day traders and position traders alike.


Is MACD employed in the Swing trading strategy?

Moving Average Convergence Divergence is a very important indicator in swing trading strategy. it helps identify a replacement trend, whether it's bullish or bearish.