Forex Moving Average Crossover

technical analysis

In the example below we are using the 10, 21 and 50 exponential moving averages. In this post we go through everything you need to know about the moving average crossover strategy and how you can start using it in your own trading. In terms of stop losses and profit targets, don’t set hard levels for either. The idea is to ride the trend that the 3 moving averages have identified and to only get off when they indicate that it’s likely to have come to a natural conclusion. Believe it or not, forex strategies don’t have to be insanely complicated to make money. With this simple 3 moving averages forex strategy, we’ll help you keep things simple and put you on the path to becoming a consistently profitable forex trader.

short term

  • There can be trading opportunities in line with the shorter term trend and against the longer term trend direction.
  • I became so successful that my company moved me to their offices on Wall Street.
  • For Short positions — to the High of the last candle before the cross.
  • This can have us getting into a trade just when price snaps back to an average price.
  • This material does not consider your investment objectives, financial situation or needs and is not intended as recommendations appropriate for you.

Given we are using multiple moving averages that must line up, EMA’s are the better choice. There is no magic in moving averages but they can be used to form the basis of a simple trading strategy that works. You can develop many strategies using moving averages but remember that complex trading strategies are not always best.

Exponential Moving Average Trading Strategy

This can have us getting into a just when price snaps back to an average price. Because there can be a lot emotion behind trading and risking money, there is a natural benefit to an objective and simple strategy. If you’re a new trader, this could be a good place to start to give you the potential to catch the big moves. However, it is not the case that the more obscure combination is the best method, for this reduces the self-fulfilling element of this trading strategy. This creates a ribbon-like chart that can tell traders a number of things more simple MA charts with less lines cannot.

trading forex

After a very large run up in price, we get a continuation setup. A 20-day EMA will react quickly to price changes as compared or 20-day SMA due to additional weight on the recent prices. Moving Average on a chartTypical moving average lengths are 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200. Discover the range of markets you can trade on – and learn how they work – with IG Academy’s online course. Forex is the world’s most traded market, and our platform has more than 80 global currency pairs to trade.

Stop Loss with the MA Crossover Indicator

Based on historical statistics, these longer-term moving averages are considered more reliable trend indicators and less susceptible to temporary fluctuations in price. The 200-day moving average is considered especially significant in stock trading. As long as the 50-day moving average of a stock price remains above the 200-day moving average, the stock is generally thought to be in a bullish trend.

Using the 2 X ATR allows your stop to remain outside the normal volatility and allows price to fluctuate. The issue is how you work your protective stops, manage your trade, and take profits. Wait for the currency to trade below both the 50 SMA and 100 SMA. Exit the second half when the price breaks below the 50 SMA by 10 pips. Wait for the currency to trade above both the 50 SMA and 100 SMA.

The 3 moving averages to use in this 3 moving average strategy

As you can see, both shorter and longer length moving averages have their pros and cons when using them alone. But by using them in conjunction with one another in a 3 moving average forex strategy, you can get the best of both worlds. This moving average trading strategy uses the EMA, because this type of average is designed to respond quickly to price changes.

trading signals

Once you’ve clicked ‘buy’ or ‘sell’, it’s time to choose your deal size. If you expected the base currency to fall in value against the quote, you would instead go short or click ‘sell’ in the deal ticket. To do so, open a live account via our online form – there’s no obligation to add funds until you want to place a trade. By plotting the average price over the last several candles, the line is less “jerky” than plotting the actual prices. When they occur, you will often get a pull-back to the EMA before a continuation of the new trend, so this is generally a good place to enter a position. Restart MetaTrader 5 or refresh the indicators list by right-clicking the Navigator subwindow of the platform and choosing Refresh.

Hence, many forex traders will use a simple moving average no matter what currency pair, chart timeframe or trading strategy they are using. If there was one technical indicator that a trader couldn’t go without, chances are it would be this one. Moving average crossovers are a reliable trading strategy, but only in trending markets. They have none-to-zero value in conditions of sideways trading.

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An optional step is to move the stop-loss to break even when the trade is 10 pips profitable. Buy when the five-period EMA crosses from below to above the 20-period EMA, and the price, five, and 20-period EMAs are above the 50 EMA. Moving averages are lagging indicators, which means they don’t predict where price is going, they are only providing data on where price has been. She either exits when a new crossover has been made but also has a 150-pip stop loss just in case.

One comment on “Moving Average Crossover Explained”

However, the bullish EMA cross over comes earlier compared to the SMAs. At the same time, the bearish EMA cross indicator signal appears later with the EMAs compared to the SMAs. If the price slices through a moving average and breaks it, then the price is very likely to continue in the same direction. In some cases, a moving average breakout will lead to the creation of fresh trends. Remember, an issue with MAs is that they can lag behind the market’s live price. Additionally, MACD – which is essentially an average of MAs – can lag even more.


Double Average Crossovers are one of the simplest ways to try and determine the overall market trend. Traders can combine other technical analysis forms with the moving average crossovers to enhance their trading strategies. If you look around the web, the most popular simple moving averages to use with a crossover strategy are the 50 and 200 smas. When the 50-simple moving average crosses above the 200-simple moving average, it generates a golden cross. Traders and market analysts commonly use several periods in creating moving averages to plot their charts. For identifying significant, long-term support and resistance levels and overall trends, the 50-day, 100-day and 200-day moving averages are the most common.

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Thus, this example is useful as it can show you different strategies that can be used to mitigate such type of events. Firstly, when we are looking at the exit from position one, a trade could have utilised either the 100- or 200-day SMA as a dynamic stop-loss. A break through either of these major moving averages holds significant value aside from the crossover, and thus such a strategy could lock in profits earlier. Another risk is using moving average crossovers in sideways markets, where stop losses won’t be effective. In general, crossover strategies on lower timeframes may not be the most advisable to use.

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