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On Balance Volume (OBV), How To Use

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Scorpion
4111
Scorpion  

On Balance Volume

The on-balance volume indicator (OBV) is one of the most well-known momentum indicators and was developed in 1963 by Joseph E. Granville whose new book ‘HOW TO READ THE STOCK MARKET’ outlines his entire OBV theor

The OBV stresses the importance of volume and its relationship to the price and momentum of any given stock. Fundamentally, the On-Balance Volume indicator compares the positive and negative volume flows of a stock against its price over a time period.

The basic concept that Granville used to design his OBV indicator was that when a stock closed higher than its previous daily close, then all of the day’s volume was considered as up-volume.

Whereas, if a stock closed lower than the previous daily close then all of its day’s volume was considered down-volume. The cumulative total of the positive and negative volume flows then formed the OBV line as the following chart shows

Granville’s studies indicated that changes in the direction of the On-Balance Volume indicator forecasted potential reversals in price direction. For instance, if the market started to heavily buy a stock then the increased volume would force the OBV line to climb which in turn would drag the price higher

The OBV can also be used to detect new trends. For instance, if the OBV shows higher consecutive peaks and troughs then a bull channel is in session whereas if it indicates lower consecutive highs and lows then a bear channel is predominant.

As the OBV does not reflect any comparison between stocks, traders should instead concentrate on its trend. By doing so, trader can detect if the OBV indicator and commodity price are still trending or diverging.

Granville also explained that if volume was not rising anymore within a buying channel then this was indicative that buying pressure was starting to wane and that the probabilities were increasing that the bull trend was no longer sustainable. He made similar comments regarding bear channels.

To provide further confirmation that a trend may be weakening, Granville recommended using a 20 period moving average in conjunction with the OBV. As a result, OBV users could then observe such events more easily by noting any crossovers of the OBV line and its moving average.

In summary, the On Balance Volume indicator is regarded by the industry as one of the most simple and popular momentum indicators and is best used to detect any new trade opportunities in the following ways.

If the OBV shows a divergence from price movement then a possible price reversal is imminent. For instance, if price is rising but the OBV has begun to drop then a possible selling opportunity may exist.

If the price and OBV are both in the same trend movement and the OBV begins to breakout then this is again signs of a new trading opportunity. These events can best be confirmed by noting any crossovers of the OBV and its moving average.

For instance, if both price and the OBV are in a bear channel and the OBV starts breaking to the upside, then a buying opportunity may be beginning to form.

deodotuesday
3
deodotuesday  

Hello,

I have already OBV. Can you tell me how can I get MT4 indicator OBV with the MA. Thanks a million.

Scorpion
4111
Scorpion  

If you're using MetaTrader, you won't need any custom OBV with MA.

All you need to do is:

1. Add OBV indicator to the chart.

2. Add Moving Average indicator to the chart. In the 'Apply to', select Previous Indicator's Data. (See the attached screenshot)

pipadee
8
pipadee  

Hi,

I have tried to do this on 2 demo charts ( ODL and GCI ).

Neither seems to have the facility to 'Apply to Previous Indicator's Data' !

Is there another way, or even a combined Indicator ?

GH

scorpion:
If you're using MetaTrader, you won't need any custom OBV with MA. All you need to do is: 1. Add OBV indicator to the chart.2. Add Moving Average indicator to the chart. In the 'Apply to', select Previous Indicator's Data. (See the attached screenshot)
vecula
7
vecula  
scorpion:
If you're using MetaTrader, you won't need any custom OBV with MA. All you need to do is: 1. Add OBV indicator to the chart. 2. Add Moving Average indicator to the chart. In the 'Apply to', select Previous Indicator's Data. (See the attached screenshot)

It doesn't work because the moving average can only be applied to indicators on the price chart NOT the indicators within an indicator window which is why we need a custom OBV with a MA in it.

pipsquik
3
pipsquik  
scorpion:
If you're using MetaTrader, you won't need any custom OBV with MA. All you need to do is: 1. Add OBV indicator to the chart. 2. Add Moving Average indicator to the chart. In the 'Apply to', select Previous Indicator's Data. (See the attached screenshot)

Are you on MT5?

JJ6845616
3
JJ6845616  

Yupp there is no way of applying MA with OBV! :-(

Thomas Kleppinger
30
Thomas Kleppinger  

I'm on mq4 and there is no option, in the MA user inputs, to apply to "Previous Indicator's Data" there either.

Can someone please explain further or post an OBV with MA indicator?

Thanx

booga435
8
booga435  

Its in the tab Parameters, next to Apply to: it has close open etc and it also has previous indicators data and first indicators data.

Thomas Kleppinger
30
Thomas Kleppinger  

Thanks for your comments.

I searched further and found the answer at this website Secrets of the MetaTrader 4 Client Terminal: Indicators - MQL4 Articles.

Here is the short version of how this works:

"Additional lines: Additional lines, Previous Indicator's Data and First Indicator's Data, appear in the "Apply to" field in the indicator's properties window when the indicator is being dragged."

You must drag the MA indicator into the chart and drop it on the indicator window that you want to add the MA to. Only then do the options Previous Indicator's Data and First Indicator's Data appear.

Also, I attached the relevant sections from the website in a word file.

sandeep
9
sandeep  
pipadee:
Hi, I have tried to do this on 2 demo charts ( ODL and GCI ). Neither seems to have the facility to 'Apply to Previous Indicator's Data' ! Is there another way, or even a combined Indicator ? GH

Well, you must drag and drop Moving Average indicator from Indicators section under Navigator window in MT4 onto the OBV indicator. Then it will give you the option - apply to previous indicators data.

12
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