What Are the Top Ten MetaTrader Indicator Options and How Are They Used?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

If you're reading this article, then you're probably already using one or more MetaTrader indicators to augment your trading with the MetaTrader 4 or 5 terminal. Indicators have been used by technical forex traders for years to generate buy or sell signals according to specific conditions and situations that arise in the markets. The top ten most popular MetaTrader indicators for the forex market are the:

1. Relative Strength Index or RSI - this indicator is self-explanatory. It measures a currency pair's strength by comparing current prices to past prices. The indicator flags when the currency pair is overbought, going over 70, and when it's oversold, going below 30.

2. Moving Average Convergence Divergence indicator or MACD - this indicator is used by traders to confirm market trends. MACD differs from a normal moving average in that it incorporates the convergence/divergence aspect and generates buy and sell signals when there is a crossover. The indicator is also effective in signaling key trend reversals.

3. Stochastic Oscillator - this is a momentum indicator that compares the current currency rate with the historical price. It indicates an overbought condition when it exceeds 80 and an oversold condition when it drops below 20.

4. Bollinger Bands - this indicator makes use of simple or exponential moving averages to determine relative price levels and volatility that are then used to generate trading signals.

5. On Balance Volume or OBV - this volume indicator is very useful in generating a trading signal based on positive or negative volume that is determined by the previously traded forex rate.

6. Accumulation/ Distribution or A/D indicator - a momentum indicator that gauges supply and demand by discerning whether the currency is under accumulation or distribution.

7. Money Flow Index or MFI - a momentum indicator similar to the Relative Strength index, however the MFI is volume-weighted and calculated using a 14 day period. By taking volume into account the index determines positive versus negative money flow and is measured on a 0 to 100 scale.

8. Average True Range or ATR - a volatility indicator that is determined by a 14-day moving average and three values: high-low, high-close and low-close. Like most volatility indicators, ATR calculates the activity level of a currency pair and cannot predict a directional change.

9. Average Directional Index or ADX - this indicator is used to determine the strength of a trend, and it is based on oscillators that range from 0 to 100. The ADX number rarely goes over 60, with 40+ indicating a strong trend and under 20 reflecting a weak trend.

10. Williams Percent Range or %R - a momentum indicator used to determine oversold or overbought conditions in a non-trending market. It is read like a Stochastic Oscillator except that it is drawn upside-down. Readings of 0 to -20 indicate an overbought condition while -80 to -100 indicate an oversold condition.

All of the above indicators are included in the stock MetaTrader indicator list which also includes 20 more indicators you can incorporate into your custom expert advisor. Technical indicators such as these can be instrumental in generating optimum buy and sell signals in an automated trading plan and should be studied carefully before incorporating them into your overall trading strategy.


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