Forex Volatility

The following table represent the currency's daily variation measured in Pip, in $ and in % with a size of contract at 00'000. 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 $ %
EURUSD Trend 114.0 1139.8 1.01
GBPUSD Trend 134.5 1344.6 0.93
USDCHF Trend 105.2 1125.8 1.08
USDJPY Trend 120.1 1122.3 1.06
EURGBP Trend 85.3 1384.9 1.10
EURCHF Trend 61.2 654.6 0.56
EURJPY Trend 125.6 1173.0 0.99
GBPCHF Trend 173.9 1861.3 1.23
GBPJPY Trend 224.2 2094.6 1.37
CHFJPY Trend 121.3 1133.1 1.05
USDCAD Trend 145.3 1315.1 1.05
EURCAD Trend 230.1 2083.0 1.48
GBPCAD Trend 219.9 1990.8 1.10
CADCHF Trend 110.2 1179.3 1.56
CADJPY Trend 136.3 1273.6 1.67
AUDCAD Trend 103.0 932.5 1.05
AUDUSD Trend 96.5 965.0 1.36
EURAUD Trend 254.0 2296.8 1.60
GBPAUD Trend 258.9 2340.5 1.27
AUDCHF Trend 120.1 1285.3 1.73
AUDJPY Trend 150.8 1409.0 1.88
EURNZD Trend 259.0 2120.1 1.53
NZDUSD Trend 92.5 925.3 1.40
GBPNZD Trend 284.6 2329.9 1.30
NZDCHF Trend 108.3 1159.1 1.67
NZDJPY Trend 132.9 1241.4 1.77
AUDNZD Trend 98.1 803.0 0.92
NZDCAD Trend 109.8 994.3 1.20
USDTRY Trend 320.4 1449.5 1.09
EURTRY Trend 499.7 2260.6 1.51
USDNOK Trend 1105.5 1729.7 1.29
EURNOK Trend 1159.1 1813.5 1.20
USDCNY Trend 72.3 117.5 0.12
USDINR Trend 34.8 570.3 0.51
USDPLN Trend 485.5 1498.5 1.24
USDMXN Trend 2491.1 19237.5 1.32
USDHUF Trend 317.3 1306.7 1.15
USDHKD Trend 81.0 104.5 0.10
XAUUSD Trend 1660.9 16608.6 1.34
XAGUSD Trend 31.5 314.9 2.00

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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