Friday, November 24, 2017

Forex MACD Indicator Explained

December 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Fx Indicator

Before I start to tell you the power of MACD, I must spend sometime to do a introduction on what is MACD and who invented it.MACD is a forex indicator that is developed by Gerald Appel who has written 12 books on investment strategies. He is also the president of Signalert Corporation which is an investment firm that helps to manages over $290 million dollar of capital.

MACD is in fact one of the simplest and reliable forex indicators I have used so far. As it is actually analyzing and displaying chart for past data, it is often know as a lagging indicator. However there are times where you can use MACD as a leading indicator to help you predict the next movement of the price.

1) How to Setup Your MACDThe most common setting for MACD is 26 or 12. What this means is 26 days and 12 days Exponential Moving Averages. The 26 EMA is a slower setting for MACD which will produce a slower indicator that is less prone to whipsaws. As for the 12 EMA, it is usually a faster setting for MACD.In the MACD indicator, there will usually be a 9 days EMA that will represent the trigger line while the histogram represents the difference between MACD line and its trigger line.2) How to Read Your MACD

There are several ways you can use the MACD to help you in your trade but first of all you need to understand how to read your MACD.

i) Bullish Crossover: Bullish crossover usually indicates a upward movement in the market and the way you can identify a bullish crossover is through the two line in the indicator namely; MACD line and its trigger line.

Whenever MACD cut through its trigger line in the upward direction, it usually indicates an uptrend or an upward movement.

ii) Bearish Crossover: Bearish crossover usually indicates a downward movement of the price and the way you can identify a bearish crossover is when the MACD cut through its trigger line in the downward direction.

iii) MACD Divergence: This is the best forex signal any trader can get from forex MACD Divergence. First of all, let me explain to you what is MACD divergence all about.

When we say that there is a divergence in MACD, we are referring to the scenario where MACD and the price are not in the same direction movement pattern.

Example: When the highs of a currency pair is getting higher and higher, MACD highs are getting lower and lower. We are experiencing something called “Negative Divergence.

From my experience, you will usually see a downside movement after a negative divergence is formed.

When the lows of a currency pair is getting lower and lower, MACD lows are getting higher and higher. We are experiencing “Positive Divergence”. Whenever you see positive divergence, you will usually see a upside movement in price.

3) How To Use MACD to Form Forex Buy Sell Signal

It will be very risky if you trade based on just one of the signal you have learn above. You will have a more robust forex strategy if you are able to combine these two signals above to constitute your buy sell signals.

MACD is a good indicator when it comes to buy sell signal as it always allow the trader to validate a trend line break or a breakout in price. With this function, MACD can help the trader to identify fake outs in trading.

I will be writing more posts on how you can profit from MACD and hope that you can benefit from them.


21 Responses to “Forex MACD Indicator Explained”
  1. babume says:

    daily macd chart on my mt4 android and that on my mt4 desktop are not the same. they have the same settinngs. histograms are different. Why is that?

  2. Ari RESE says:

    Forex Trading is Very EASY if we take a look at the PAST … what we have to face is FUTURE, so it needs some Experience as well as some good Systems …

  3. amr says:

    if you don’t use Metatrader4 what kind of programs do u use ?

  4. Tricia says:

    U can google for MACD 2 colors indicator n then copy n paste into yr mt4. BTW, Kelvin do u se this MACD on any sepcific timeframe, do u tradeon h4, h1 or lower like m15?

    • Kelvin says:

      Hi Tricia

      Really thank you for coming forward to share this valuable information. There are a lot of traders in this website asking this question.

      As for your question, I use MACD on all my time frame from 15 min to 4 hour.

  5. Roger says:

    My platform i m using now is Metatrader 4 and i cannot see the 2 line. So, how to set up pls? TQ.

  6. Krishna says:

    Hi Kelvin
    I have the same question again. I use Meta Trader-4 Platform & I am not able to see 2 lines. Please tell me as which platform you are using.

    • Kelvin says:

      Hi Krishna

      I am not being able to help you as I am not using any metatrader. Can anyone here in this blog help Krishna in this area.

  7. Santo says:

    Hi Kelvin!

    I’m the beginner, I have same problem with others, I can’t find 2 line (which indicate the cross over) above the MACD histogram. My flatform is MT4 & Euromaxfx.

    You said “As long as your platform is able to draw 2 lines for the macd, it does not matter.” How to draw it?

    Thank You – Santo

  8. Adegoke says:

    I got the macd histogram on my platform but I found it difficult to get the two lines on top of the histogram to indicate overbought.

    • Kelvin says:

      Hi Adegoke

      So you are saying that you do not any line above the MACD histogram?

    • Dr. OsakweOA says:

      Hi Adegoke, i can assist you with the right MACD, just check the previous answer to a similar question on this thread, i would be glad to help. i should have helped with posting or uploading the MACD on this blog, but i could not find the option to do so.
      You can post your email, o ill post Mine or you get back to Kelvin Lee on how i can send it to you through him.

      which ever is most acceptable to you Adegoke.

  9. Dane says:

    I am using Metatrader 4 as platform. How to get the MACD complete with the two lines and histogram in Metatrader? TQ


    how do i set the MACD so that the other 2 lines(blue and red show)

    • Kelvin says:


      I am not sure about the platform you are using. For mine, I am able to choose the colour of the line I am plotting. However the colour is not really that important. As long as your platform is able to draw 2 lines for the macd, it does not matter.

  11. nandini says:

    I am trying to use the macd. I get the bars on my indicator, but I do not get the two lines on top.( to see a crossover) What setting do I use and how do I get them. nan

    • Kelvin says:

      Hi Nan

      What platform are you using?

      My setting for the MACD is

      Short EMA: 12
      Long EMA: 26
      Signal Line: 9

      Without the 2 lines, you will not be able to use MACD crossover to trade and will be harder to verify a breakout.

      • Kingsley says:


        I use Meta Trader-4 Platform and cannot get the two lines on MACD after set up. how do I get the second line on the indicator? i order to determine crossover?

        • Kelvin says:

          Hi Kingsley and Dane

          I am unable to advice you on this area as I am not using the MT4 platform. If there is anyone reading this blog and has experienced in this area, please give your comment and help them out.

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