We use a range of cookies to give you the best possible browsing experience. By continuing to use this website, you agree to our use of cookies.
You can learn more about our cookie policy here, or by following the link at the bottom of any page on our site.

Free Trading Guides
of clients are net long.
of clients are net short.
Long Short

Note: Low and High figures are for the trading day.

Data provided by
Oil - US Crude
of clients are net long.
of clients are net short.
Long Short

Note: Low and High figures are for the trading day.

Data provided by
More View more
Real Time News
  • While Sino-US trade jitters are temporarily abating, China-Swedish trade tensions are rising as a part of a political contagion of growing economic hostilities between nations across the world. Get your market update from @ZabelinDimitri here:https://t.co/F1fVoyzoz5 https://t.co/z49NzgZrXd
  • RT @malkudsi: Natural Gas Eyes Pushing Higher as Support Holds - Nat Gas Technical Analysis More details in the link below: https://t.co/HG…
  • As prices dance around on charts, traders are often looking for reasons to explain price movements; however, the underlying source of price movement boils down to the relationship between supply and demand. Learn more about the forces of S&D on forex here: https://t.co/8LfkLXbj2W https://t.co/swcuwAMGAk
  • How can traders avoid #FOMO in trading? Start by implementing a well-heeled plan taking only four hours per week. Get your insight from @JStanleyFX here: https://t.co/vwUShQPc27 #tradingstyle https://t.co/4adyTWvQ22
  • What are the Market cycles? How are #currencies impacted in these cycles? How can these cycles impact #forextrading patterns? Find out here: https://t.co/ckr2fUOWqW https://t.co/gLJGj1FAOC
  • Central bank independence has several advantages and disadvantages. Find out what they are in-depth with @MartinSEssex here: https://t.co/wVFXbbTxf1 https://t.co/J0MMkVmCUu
  • Get your stock market basics right - what is the stock market and how does stock trading work? Find out here: https://t.co/JfAJLAtlsY https://t.co/ZfPUxHWeiG
  • The Mexican economy contracted for the first time in almost 10 years in 2019, but growth is expected to pick up in 2020 according to its finance minister. Get your $USDMXN market update from @HathornSabin here: https://t.co/gupJdU7WYT https://t.co/mMN8LFb5i5
  • EUR/USD has been weakening since the start of 2020 and the decline has accelerated this month. At some point there will be a correction but further losses are still likely as the year progresses. Get your $EURUSD market update from @MartinSEssex here: https://t.co/ieJUBNeAIf https://t.co/Dw4f7DQocg
  • The $AUD has risen in anticipation of a deal Washington and Beijing. But the Australia-China trade relationship has not suffered much and may even have been helped by China’s spat with the US. Get your market update from @DavidCottleFX here:https://t.co/An7h5X0Zcz https://t.co/Rn7mLbS1EF
MACD settings to make the most of your trades

MACD settings to make the most of your trades

2020-01-22 15:16:00
Richard Snow, Markets Writer

The MACD is often used with its default setting when entering trades. However, this versatile indicator can be customized to assist traders in exiting trades too. This article takes a brief look at the MACD and the general MACD settings before expanding on how the MACD can be altered to exit trades.

Typical MACD Settings

The typical MACD default settings are (12,26, 9) and refers to the following:

  • (12) – The 12 period exponentially weighted average (EMA) or ‘fast line’
  • (26) – The 26 period EMA or ‘slow line’
  • (9) – The 9 period EMA of the MACD line, known as the ‘signal line’


MACD = fast line – the slow line

Signal line = 9 period EMA of the MACD itself

MACD settings

Essentially, the fast line and the slow line make up the MACD line and then the signal line is the 9 period EMA of the MACD line.

The histogram provides a visual representation of when the MACD is above (green) or below (red) the signal line. These are the typical settings used by traders when entering the market but what about when it is time to exit the market?

If you are new trading or simply need a refresher, take a look at our in-depth MACD guide.

Forex for Beginners
Forex for Beginners
Recommended by Richard Snow
Acquire the basics of FX trading in this intro to FX
Get My Guide

How to use two MACDs with different settings for better exits

Many traders spend a disproportionate amount of time and effort on the entry into the marketwhile neglecting where they exit. However, when trading, it is the exit that will determine how much you ultimately take from the market or how much of your equity you surrender to the market.

Traditional MACD exits

Traders can look for the usual MACD entry triggers but adapt these signals to exits. For example, a zero-line crossover or the tradition signal of the MACD line crossing the signal line can be adopted to exit trades.

The downfall of this approach arises when there are multiple crosses of the MACD and signal line resulting in traders opening and closing trades more frequently than necessary.

Exiting a trade properly is often the toughest part of trading well and the addition of a second MACD can help with that.

Adding a second slower MACD for exits

The argument for having two MACDs is that you have a sensitive (faster) MACD to get you into a potential trend quickly and a less sensitive (slower) MACD for exits. As mentioned earlier, exiting a trade properly is often the toughest part of trading well and the second MACD can help with that. The second MACD settings are 19,39,9.

Slow MACD used for exits

Each of the MACDs have a purpose; the fast MACD using the 12, 26, 9 readings are only to be used to enter the trade at the zero-line crossover. The slower MACD using the 19, 39, 9 readings are only to be used to exit the trades when the MACD line crosses the signal line.

The table below summarizes this:

MACD settings


Entry criteria

Fast MACD (12, 26, 9)

Zero-line crossover

Exit criteria

Slow MACD (19, 39, 9)

MACD, signal line crossover

It is clear to see how the two MACDs combine to produce entries and exits in the CAD/CHF chart below. The

MACD settings on CAD/CHF

The entry rules are different from the exit rules to keep you trading into the direction trend longer before exiting the trade.

MACD Settings FAQ

Under which market conditions should traders consider using a slower MACD setting?

Slower MACD settings can be extremely helpful to navigate more volatile currency pairs such as: UZD/ZAR, GBP/AUD, CAD/JPY to name a few. The slower MACD settings applied to any of these markets helps to smooth out the volatility of the market in an attempt to avoid false signals.

Slower MACD settings are particularly useful for GBP crosses as these pairs are naturally more expensive and require larger margin than other pairs when comparing the same number of contracts.

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.


News & Analysis at your fingertips.