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How to Use a MACD Crossover to Enter Trades

Larissa Barlow

Mar 24, 2022 17:54

While many traders seek chances to trade amid tumultuous market situations, the significance of timing cannot be overstated.


The purpose of this article is to educate traders about the MACD crossover and to explain how it can be utilized effectively in Forex trading.

What Is The Macd Crossover

The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator is a technical indicator that measures the market's momentum and direction by comparing the difference between two exponential moving averages. When the MACD line and the signal line intersect, the MACD crossover occurs, frequently signalling a change in the market's momentum/trend. The MACD is regarded as a very accurate indicator, particularly in trending markets.



The MACD is composed of the following components:


The MACD line (blue line) is the difference between two exponential moving averages (often 12 and 26 days or weeks) and is frequently referred to as the quicker line.


The signal line is often a nine-period exponentially smoothed average of the MACD line; it is sometimes referred to as the slower line.


MACD lines swing above and below a zero line, lending the MACD oscillator characteristics.


The histogram is made up of vertical lines indicating the spread between the two MACD lines.

Forex Trading With The Macd Crossover

Three advantageous strategies to employ the MACD crossover in a forex trade:

  • MACD crossing as a cue for entry

  • Divergence is used to calculate momentum, with crossing serving as confirmation.

  • MACD crossover for signal filtering

1. MACD crossing as a cue for entry

By validating the direction of the trend prior to making a trade, a good entry strategy can boost the likelihood of success.


When the MACD line crosses over the signal line in the direction of the trend, this is the most often utilized entry signal.


When the MACD line crosses ABOVE the signal line and is below the zero line, a bullish signal is present. When the crossover occurs, traders may confirm the start of an upward trend by waiting for the MACD line to pass above the zero line before initiating a long position.


Similarly, when the MACD line crosses BELOW the signal line and is above the zero line, a bearish signal is present. Confirmation, once again, occurs when the MACD line passes below the zero line.

2. Using divergence to establish a trend with confirmation by crossing

Divergence may be highly beneficial for analyzing the trend's momentum during periods of high volatility or strong moving markets.


Divergence may be described as a break in the relationship between price movement and an indicator. Divergence can be observed on the GBP/NZD 2 hour chart below, as the market is making new highs while the MACD indicator is making lower highs. Divergence is frequently a sign of reversal, indicating that the trend is losing momentum.


When this occurs, traders may utilize the subsequent crossing to validate the onset of a market correction/reversal before initiating an opposite-direction position.



3. Using the MACD crossover to select signals based on their trend direction

Traders who think that 'the trend is your friend' may find the MACD crossover to be an advantageous tool for filtering signals in the trend direction.


A trader can spot an upward trend by looking for crossovers that occur when the price chart shows higher highs and lower lows. Another indicator of an upward trend is the MACD line's (blue line) distance from the zero line. When the MACD line is higher than the zero line, the trend is upward. Traders that follow the trend will seek for buying opportunities only when the trend is upward. The inverse conditions would apply to traders seeking to sell.

MACD Frequently Asked Questions

Can you see a MACD crossing occurring?

Anticipating a MACD crossing (or any other movement, for that matter) is not encouraged. The MACD is a lagging indicator, which means that it is based on historical data on price activity. While the MACD crossing is an excellent indicator to employ in trending markets, trading with the anticipation of a crossover is dangerous due to the fact that trending markets are prone to times of high volatility.

Which time window is the most appropriate for the MACD crossover?

The MACD crossover may be employed on any time frame, however the time frame used is frequently determined by the type of trader. Multiple time frames are frequently advantageous since they provide a more comprehensive perspective of the market. A longer time period may be utilized to examine the general trend, but a shorter time period frequently accelerates the frequency of signals.