Forex Indicator MT4

ATR, Average True Range

What is ATR indicator, the instructions of ATR and how to use the ATR indicator, the calculation of ATR indicator and the ATR indicator main parameters


Developed by J. Welles Wilder, the Average True Range (ATR) is an indicator that measures volatility. As with most of his indicators, Wilder designed ATR with commodities and daily prices in mind. Commodities are frequently more volatile than stocks. They were are often subject to gaps and limit moves, which occur when a commodity opens up or down its maximum allowed move for the session. A volatility formula based only on the high-low range would fail to capture volatility from gap or limit moves. Wilder created Average True Range to capture this "missing" volatility. It is important to remember that ATR does not provide an indication of price direction, just volatility.

ATR, Average True Range

Average True Range Technical Indicator (ATR) is an indicator that shows volatility of the market. It was introduced by Welles Wilder in his book "New concepts in technical trading systems". This indicator has been used as a component of numerous other indicators and trading systems ever since.

Average True Range can often reach a high value at the bottom of the market after a sheer fall in prices occasioned by panic selling. Low values of the indicator are typical for the periods of sideways movement of long duration which happen at the top of the market and during consolidation. Average True Range can be interpreted according to the same principles as other volatility indicators. The principle of forecasting based on this indicator can be worded the following way: the higher the value of the indicator, the higher the probability of a trend change; the lower the indicator’s value, the weaker the trend’s movement is.



True Range is the greatest of the following three values:

  • difference between the current maximum and minimum (high and low);
  • difference between the previous closing price and the current maximum;
  • difference between the previous closing price and the current minimum.

The indicator of Average True Range is a moving average of values of the true range.


ATR Analysis Basics

  • The greater the oscillator value, the greater the possibility for trend reversal.
  • The smaller the value the weaker the trend.



ATR is not a directional indicator, such as MACD or RSI. Instead, ATR is a unique volatility indicator that reflects the degree of interest or disinterest in a move. Strong moves, in either direction, are often accompanied by large ranges, or large True Ranges. This is especially true at the beginning of a move. Uninspiring moves can be accompanied by relatively narrow ranges. As such, ATR can be used to validate the enthusiasm behind a move or breakout. A bullish reversal with an increase in ATR would show strong buying pressure and reinforce the reversal. A bearish support break with an increase in ATR would show strong selling pressure and reinforce the support break.


Main Parameters

  • Period: Averaging period for calculation, default is 14
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