The Average True Range (ATR) is a technical analysis indicator that helps measure volatility in the market. It was developed by J. Welles Wilder Jr. and is used by traders and analysts to assess the level of price volatility by capturing the range between the high and low prices of an asset over a specific period.
Here's how it works:
- Calculation: The ATR is calculated by taking the average of the true range (TR) values over a specific period. The true range is the greatest of the following three values:
The difference between the current high and low prices.
The absolute value of the current high price minus the previous close.
The absolute value of the current low price minus the previous close.
- Volatility representation: The ATR provides a measure of the average volatility in terms of absolute price movement. It represents the degree of price fluctuations or market activity. A higher ATR value indicates greater volatility, while a lower value suggests lower volatility.
- Timeframe consideration: The ATR value can be calculated on various timeframes, such as daily, weekly, or monthly. Traders may use different periods depending on their trading strategy and the market they are analyzing.
- Trading decisions: The ATR helps traders identify potential trends or significant price movements. A higher ATR value signifies potentially larger price swings, which could be favorable for traders looking for profit opportunities through volatility. Conversely, lower ATR values may indicate a more stable or range-bound market.
Overall, the ATR acts as a useful tool for traders to assess market volatility, determine the appropriate position sizing, set stop-loss levels, and identify potential trading opportunities. By understanding volatility, traders can make more informed decisions and manage their risk effectively.