Definition Of Average Directional Index(ADX)

On this webpage, First of all, We will be discussing the Definition Of Average Directional Index(ADX).  One needs to know the meaning of the average directional index, which is a type of technical indicator that measures the strength of a market trend with the aid of average moving prices represented by a figure between 1 to 100. Ways In calculating The Average Directional Index(ADX). The Average Directional Index (ADX) Usage Limitations

Definition Of Average Directional Index (ADX)

The average directional index being able to figure out the comprehensive strength of a trend depends on the movement of a strong market trend (its direction) resulting in a higher chance of great profit and low risk.

The average directional index which is widely used by financial expertise and technical traders to identify how strong a trend is was initially invested by Welles Wilder to be used for daily commodity charts.

Also, the non-directional indicator called the Average directional movement index(ADMX), does take the measurement of the trend strength, irrespective of how high or low the price is. The DMI+, DMI-, and ADX are all part of the Directional Movement System whose main aim is looking for the strength of the price motion, both in positive and negative directions. Most indicators are displayed in the same window as the lines of the two-directional movement indicator which can be used to calculate the ADX. The values are generally interpreted as follows

The values of ADXThe strength trend
0 – 25Either absent or weak trend
25 – 50A  Solid trend
50 – 75A strong trend
75 – 100An uttermost strong trend

Ways In calculating The Average Directional Index(ADX)

In calculating the Average Directional Index the following ways are necessary:

  • 1. To calculate the Directional movement (+DM), this formula is needed:

+DM = Current High – Previous High

  • 2. Use, -DM = Previous Low – Current Low to calculate for negative directional movement.
  • 3. Between +DM and -DM choose the one with the higher value.

Definition Of Average Directional Index(ADX)

  • 4. Used either of the formulae to calculate the true range (TR); current low – previous close, current high – previous close, and lastly current high – current low.
  • 5. Using this formula 14TR = Sum of the first 14 TR readings, followed by 14TR = first 14TR – (prior 14TR/14) + current TR to calculate for the smoothen 14 average periods.
  • 6. Using; +DI = (Smoothed +DM / ATR) x 100, and  -DI =(Smoothed -DM / ATR) x 100, calculate the+DI and -DM valves.
  • 7. Then using this equation; DX = ( | +DI – -DI | / | +DI + -DI | ) x100 to calculate the directional movement index (DMI)
  • 8. In other for you to get the ADX, you need to first find the DX of all 14 periods dividing their sum by 14 and for the other 13 using the formula; ADX = (Previous ADX x 13) + Current ADX) / 14.

Note that during trading the entire process becomes automated, there will be no need to carry out each of the above calculations yourself.

The on-balance volume (OBV), accumulation/distribution line, MACDand RSI are all other known types of trading indicators.

Keys Facts On Average Directional Index (ADX)

This is a form of analysis technically used by a few traders to find out how strong a market trend is. These trends could be high or low which is shown by two attached indicators ( the positive directional and the negative directional indicator). However, ADX unremarkably has three lines that are used in checking if a trade should be ventured into or not, whether short or long term.

We will be discussing the Definition Of Average Directional Index(ADX).  One needs to know the meaning of the average directional index, which is a type of technical indicator that measures the strength of a market trend with the aid of average moving prices represented by a figure between 1 to 100. Ways In calculating The Average Directional Index(ADX). The Average Directional Index (ADX) Usage Limitations

Carrying out a calculation on the Average Directional Movement Index is through the following process;

  • First of all for each period calculate their +DM, -DM, and their true range (TR). Typically the 14th period is often used 
  • For the +DM is given as current high – previous high
  • For the -DM is given as previous low – current low
  • Therefore use -DM when previous low – current low is greater than current high – previous high and +DM when previous low – current low is less than current high – previous high.
  • The highest of the current low – previous close, current high – current low, current high – previous low is the true range (TR).
  • Then the 14 period average of +DM, -DM, and TR are smoothened by inserting their values into the below formula;

14TR = sum of the first 14 TR readings.

Definition Of Average Directional Index(ADX)

Which implies that : 14TR value = first 14TR – (prior 14TR/14) +current TR.

  • After getting the values, the next step involves dividing the smoothed +DM value by the smoothed TR value to get +DI, after that multiply the +DI value by 100.
  • Also, divide the value of the smoothed -DM by the value of the TR to get the -DI value which will be further multiplied by 100
  • For the directional movement index (DMI) value is given by +DI minus -DI, divided by the sum of +DI and -DI (its downright values) multiply by 100.
  • Continue to calculate the values of the DX, leastwise 14 periods to get the ADX value, through smoothing of the result using the below formula;

ADX = sum 14 periods of DX / 14. Followed by ADX = ((priorADX * 13) + current DX) / 14.

Information the Average Directional Index (ADX) has for you.

In the ADX its impulse indicators are the positive directional indicator(+DI) and the negative directional indicator (-DI), whereby the ADX deals with helping an investor fine the strength of a trend while the +DI and -DI deals with the direction of the trend. A strong trend is dictated by the ADX when the trend strength is above 25 and a weak one when the strength of the trend is below 20, whereas trade signals are generated through +DI and -DI crossing over each other lines.  

For instance, the potential signal for an investor to buy is when the +DI line cross above the -DI line and its ADX is above 20 or 25, on the other hand, the avenue to enter into a potential short trade is when the -DI line crosses over the +DI line and also it’s ADX is above 20 or 25. Likewise, these crosses could be used to outlet current trades, whereby the ADX is below 20 and the -DI crosses above the +DI indicating that the price will be trendless and might not be an ideal time to enter the trade( exit if long).

The Average Directional Index (ADX) Usage Limitations

Most times in ADX, crossovers occur often or too frequently which leads to confusion and potential loss of money on trades and goes the other way quickly, thereby called the false signals which are more common to ADX values below 25 but sometimes reach above 25( temporarily), and move contrary with the price. Also, the combination of ADX with price analysis and the potential of other indicators will enable signals filtering and risk control.

How To Make Use Of Average Directional Index (ADX)

Regardless of its direction, ADX is helpful in guiding and evaluating the strength of a trend when trading, apart from being a known technical indicator, it’s another example of an oscillator, ranging between 1 to 100, whereby figures below 20 show weak trend and above 50 shows a strong trend. Sometimes its calculation can be complicated but in a simple form, the stronger the trend, the higher the ADX goes.

A price picks up motion in one direction when its ADX rises above 50. The ADX does not determine if a trend is expecting a price fall or a rise in the price unlike stochastic, it only measures the strength of a current trend. Due to this reason, ADX is mainly used to note if a market is starting or either ranging a new trend. It is usually established by comparing the highs and lows of bars whereas not using the close bar. Also regardless of its high trend or low trend, the stronger the trend, the bigger the readings

Definition Of Average Directional Index(ADX)

Focus on 20 and 40 as the key levels when making use of the ADX indicator. The below cheat sheet will enable you to interpret the ADX values

The values of ADXTheir indications
RisingStrengthening trend
FallingWeakening trend
Below 20Strong trend
Ranging between 20 and 40Weak trend
Above 40Extreme trend

Looking at this first example of an ADX below 20 from late September till early December we notice the EUR/CHF stuck inside a range during that time, although at the beginning of January the ADX starts to rise above 50, showing that a strong trend could be waiting at the wings, whereas looking at the EUR/CHF below the endpoint of the range, goes on a strong low trend which is around 400 pips in the bag. Considering another example;

Definition Of Average Directional Index(ADX)

As in the first example, for quite a while, the ADX vibrates below 20, likewise, EUR/CHF at that point was ranging. After some time the ADX rises above 50 whereas the EUR/CHF broke above the top of its range, therefore leading to a strong high trend ( that is 300 pips, sealed, signed, and delivered). Its only problem is the fact of not saying if it is a buy or sell trend but rather tells one if it’s alright to enter into an ongoing trend or not. When the uptrend or downtrend becomes weakened by the ADX value dropping again below 50, might be a good time to lock in profits.

How To Use ADX In Trading

First of all, while using an ADX to trade. Before deciding or choosing to go for a long or short trade wait for its gaol break. It can be used to confirm if the pair could continue possibly in its current trend or not.

Some other way to use ADX is by combining it with another indicator. Especially the one which can place if a pair is moving upwards or downwards. And also to check when a trade should be closed early. When ADX tends to move below 50 for instance. It shows that the current trend is losing its steam, whereby the pair can possibly move sidewise. Before that happens one would want to lock those pips up. 


There is a common saying that ” until a trend reverses, it’s still your friend. Consider using the ADX to concur with the strength. Of a trend if you are thinking of sticking to a “friend” or cutting all ties as the trend changes.

We will be discussing the Definition Of Average Directional Index(ADX).  One needs to know the meaning of the average directional index, Ways In calculating The Average Directional Index(ADX). The Average Directional Index (ADX) Usage Limitations

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