Forex Volatility

The following table represent the currency's daily variation measured in Pip, in $ and in % with a size of contract at $ 100'000. You have to define the period to calculate the average of the volatility. It could be interesting to trade the pair which offer the best volatility.

Formula : Variation = Average (Higher - Lower)

Pair Trend pips $ %
AUDCAD - 52.822 397.61 0.59
AUDCHF - 54.466 558.8 0.83
AUDHKD - 355.008 452.65 0.67
AUDJPY - 62.95 597.19 0.88
AUDNZD - 50.566 323.57 0.48
AUDSGD - 46.7 336.72 0.5
AUDUSD - 45.608 456.08 0.68
CADCHF - 52.842 542.14 0.72
CADHKD - 291.176 371.26 0.49
CADJPY - 60.176 570.88 0.76
CADSGD - 43.166 311.24 0.41
CHFHKD - 512.722 653.74 0.64
CHFJPY - 57.926 549.53 0.54
CHFZAR - 2171.08 1423.68 1.39
EURAUD - 107.624 726.78 0.65
EURCAD - 81.82 615.88 0.55
EURCHF - 47.994 492.4 0.44
EURCZK - 631.32 271.95 0.24
EURDKK - 21.94 32.79 0.03
EURGBP - 58.064 713.55 0.64
EURHKD - 445.394 567.89 0.51
EURHUF - 119 402.87 0.36
EURJPY - 71.266 676.08 0.61
EURNOK - 608.65 679.4 0.61
EURNZD - 113.854 728.55 0.65
EURPLN - 151.632 386.2 0.35
EURSEK - 555.34 578.74 0.52
EURSGD - 70.244 506.48 0.45
EURTRY - 831.46 1444.03 1.3
EURUSD - 55.178 551.78 0.5
EURZAR - 2190.46 1436.39 1.29
GBPAUD - 140.01 945.49 0.77
GBPCAD - 118.114 889.08 0.72
GBPCHF - 92.24 946.34 0.77
GBPHKD - 664.09 846.74 0.69
GBPJPY - 108.258 1027.02 0.84
GBPNZD - 152.57 976.3 0.79
GBPPLN - 325.4 828.77 0.67
GBPSGD - 107.874 777.81 0.63
GBPUSD - 83.566 835.66 0.68
GBPZAR - 2483.4 1628.48 1.33
HKDJPY - 877.6 83.26 0.65
NZDCAD - 56.572 425.83 0.66
NZDCHF - 51.202 525.31 0.82
NZDHKD - 377.224 480.98 0.75
NZDJPY - 59.387 563.39 0.88
NZDSGD - 54.284 391.41 0.61
NZDUSD - 48.168 481.68 0.75
SGDCHF - 44.646 458.05 0.64
SGDHKD - 191.526 244.2 0.34
SGDJPY - 51.476 488.34 0.68
TRYJPY - 27.242 258.44 1.49
USDCAD - 64.38 484.61 0.48
USDCHF - 62.257 638.73 0.64
USDCNH - 310 434.47 0.43
USDCZK - 1193.88 514.27 0.51
USDDKK - 326.742 488.26 0.49
USDHKD - 84.47 107.7 0.11
USDHUF - 177.696 601.58 0.6
USDINR - 42.058 585.44 0.59
USDJPY - 67.184 637.36 0.64
USDMXN - 1708.44 857.74 0.86
USDNOK - 656.084 732.35 0.73
USDPLN - 231.168 588.77 0.59
USDSAR - 4.624 12.33 0.01
USDSEK - 668.652 696.82 0.7
USDSGD - 44.898 323.73 0.32
USDTHB - 14.332 467.91 0.47
USDTRY - 712.266 1237.02 1.24
USDZAR - 1929.72 1265.41 1.27
ZARJPY - 11.138 105.66 1.61

The volatility calculated on this page is called Average true range (ATR). It is calculated by taking the average of the difference between the highest and the lowest of each day over a given period.
For example, with this method, let's calculate the volatility of the Euro dollar over three days with the following data

  • First day: The Euro Dollar marks a low point at 1.3050 and a high point at 1.3300
  • Second day: EURUSD varies between 1.3100 and 1.3300
  • Third day: the low point is 1.3200 and the high point is 1.3350

The Highest - Lowest difference over the three days is 250pips, 200pips and 150pips, or an average of 200pips. We will say that the volatility over the period is 200 pips on average.

The volatility is used to evaluate the potential for variation of a currency pair. For example, for intraday trading, it may appear more interesting to choose a pair which offers high volatility. Another use may be as an aid to fix the levels of objective or stop-loss, to place an intraday objective at 2 or 3 times the volatility may be a risky strategy; conversely, one may estimate that an objective of at least one times the volatility has more chance of being achieved.

Case studies

I wish to buy the Euro Dollar for an intraday trade at 1.3200. My objective is 100 pips. At the time when I want to open my trade, the low point for the day was 1.3100 and the average volatility is 150 pips, which means that on average one can estimate that the high point could be close to 1.3100+150 pips = 1.3250. Now my objective is 1.3300, or 50 pips above. In this case, my analysis shows that the EURUSD seems likely to have a stronger variation than on the previous days; I can open my position and maintain as my intraday objective 1.3300. However, if the rate shows no exceptional variation one may estimate that the objective will probably not be achieved during the day, which does not invalidate my analysis but defers my timing.

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