Ichimoku Cloud indicator

Ichimoku Cloud indicator simply explained. Formula and use in Trading

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The Ichimoku Cloud, or Ichimoku Kinko Hyo, is a versatile indicator that provides information about support/resistance levels, direction of the trend, and momentum. It’s composed of five lines: Tenkan-sen, Kijun-sen, Senkou Span A, Senkou Span B, and Chikou Span.

Formula and Calculation:

Ichimoku Cloud (Ichimoku Kinko Hyo) Formulas

  • Tenkan-sen (Conversion Line): [(9-period high + 9-period low) / 2]
  • Kijun-sen (Base Line): [(26-period high + 26-period low) / 2]
  • Senkou Span A (Leading Span A): [(Tenkan-sen + Kijun-sen) / 2] (Plotted 26 periods ahead)
  • Senkou Span B (Leading Span B): [(52-period high + 52-period low) / 2] (Plotted 26 periods ahead)
  • Chikou Span (Lagging Span): Current close plotted 26 periods behind

Possible Settings:
The Ichimoku Cloud’s default settings are 9, 26, and 52 periods for the Tenkan-sen, Kijun-sen, and Senkou Span B, respectively. These are based on Japanese calendar trading days. However, traders may adjust these settings based on their specific strategies, with some opting for faster settings like 7, 22, and 44, or slower ones like 10, 30, and 60, depending on their trading objectives.

How it Works:

  • Tenkan-sen (Conversion Line): Calculated by averaging the highest high and the lowest low over the past 9 periods. It indicates a short-term market trend.
  • Kijun-sen (Base Line): Determined by averaging the highest high and the lowest low over the past 26 periods. It’s a trigger line for buy and sell signals.
  • Senkou Span A (Leading Span A): It’s the average of the Tenkan-sen and Kijun-sen plotted 26 periods ahead.
  • Senkou Span B (Leading Span B): Determined by averaging the highest high and lowest low over the past 52 periods, plotted 26 periods ahead.
  • Chikou Span (Lagging Span): It’s the current closing price plotted 26 periods behind.

The space between Senkou Span A and Senkou Span B forms the “cloud”, which can help determine the strength of a trend and areas of support and resistance.

How to Use:

  • Trend Direction: If the price is above the cloud, it indicates an uptrend; if it’s below, it indicates a downtrend.
  • Buy/Sell Signals: Buy signals arise when the Tenkan-sen crosses above the Kijun-sen, and sell signals occur when the Tenkan-sen crosses below the Kijun-sen.
  • Support/Resistance: The cloud acts as a support or resistance level, with Senkou Span A and Senkou Span B serving as dynamic boundaries.
  • Strength of Trend: A wider cloud indicates a stronger trend.


  • Provides a holistic view of the market with multiple data points.
  • Can be useful for identifying breakout points and trend reversals.


  • May produce false signals in sideways or consolidating markets.
  • With multiple components, it can be complex for beginners.

Typical Usage:
Traders use the Ichimoku Cloud to determine entry and exit points, identify trend strength, and establish stop-loss points. It’s also beneficial for gauging momentum and potential areas of support and resistance.

Closing Thoughts on the Ichimoku Cloud

The Ichimoku Cloud, with its multi-dimensional approach, stands as a testament to the intricacies of the Forex market. Its blend of trend, momentum, and support/resistance metrics offers traders a panoramic view of market dynamics. Strategically, this indicator is a game-changer for breakout trading, momentum capturing, and pullback strategies. Whether you’re discerning potential buy/sell points, gauging the strength of a prevailing trend, or identifying crucial support and resistance zones, the Ichimoku Cloud proves to be an invaluable ally. As with all trading tools, it’s paramount to combine the insights from the Ichimoku with other analytical techniques and sound risk management for a holistic trading approach. Dive deep into its layers, and you might just unveil trading opportunities previously hidden in plain sight.

Image credit: Fidelity

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