Technical Analysis: VWAP

Volume-Weighted Average Price (VWAP): Definition, How It Works, Calculation, Trading, And Benefits

Historical price movements are of great importance in trading activities, as they shed light on the current price movements, and they are also very prominent in the trading decisions made by traders. VWAP, reflecting traders the expensiveness of the price by taking into account the averaging data between volume and price, is used as one of the indispensable technical indicators for traders looking to make informed trading decisions. In this comprehensive guide, we have brought together all the details about the definition of Volume Weighted Average Price, how it works, calculation methods, advantages, and disadvantages.

What is the Volume-Weighted Average Price (VWAP) Indicator?

First introduced by Dow Jones in the 1980s, VWAP represents the volume-weighted average price of a financial asset over a given period. VWAP allows traders to infer whether the current price is above average based on past price averages and make trading decisions accordingly. Originally an indicator for institutional traders, VWAP is now frequently used by both individual and institutional investors.


How Does the VWAP Indicator Work?

VWAP has become one of the most widely used indicators for price movements in the market because it combines a wide range of data such as volume and price to provide optimal entry and exit points, to show price momentum, provide insights into the direction of the trend and to indicate possible support and resistance zones. By its very nature, VWAP is most commonly used by those involved in institutional trading, but it is also frequently used in the context of day trading and algorithmic trading.

Although the VWAP is displayed as a single line on charts, it is also quite common to see it displayed with an upper band and a lower band. Calculations using the VWAP are usually based on a predetermined day’s data. However, measurements can sometimes be made between two separate points in time if consistent with a trader’s strategy.

What is The VWAP Formula?

The calculation in the VWAP indicator is performed as follows:

VWAP = (Cumulative Typical Price * Volume) / Cumulative Volume


The calculation starts with the cumulative typical price (TP). The typical price is calculated on the first candle completed in the timeframe and interval tracked on the chart. Considering a 30-minute timeframe, the typical price of the first 30-minute candle completed is analyzed. The following formula is used to calculate the typical price.

Typical Price = [(H+L+C)/3] 


H: Refers to the high point of the price of the candle under consideration.

L: Refers to the low point of the price of the candle under consideration.

C: The closing price of the candle under consideration.


After finding the typical price, the data obtained is multiplied by the volume to determine the Total Price Volume (TPV). Although the result obtained directly represents the VWAP in the calculations for the first candle, the formulas change as follows for the other candles:


VWAP for the Second Candle = [TPV(Candle 1) + TPV(Candle 2)] / [V (Candle 1) + V (Candle 2)]

What Are The Benefits Of VWAP Indicator?

Comprehensive Understanding: Based on the relationship between volume and price, VWAP offers traders a more comprehensive insight than many other indicators. Price and volume, which are among the most fundamental elements of financial markets, are the basis for price movements and informed trading activities, allowing traders to make more informed decisions.

Removes Price Distortions: Financial markets are inherently vulnerable to unexpected price movements, such as geopolitical and economic developments, which can increase market volatility. While sudden upward and downward price movements often negatively affect the functioning of other indicators, VWAP, which averages past price movements, can help protect traders from the negative effects of sudden price movements.

Benchmark Quality: One of the most important factors in trading activities is to enter trades at the right time and the right price. The volume-weighted average price allows traders to set entry prices based on historical averages and to identify overbought and oversold areas in advance.

What Are The Limitations Of VWAP Indicator?

Lagging Indicator: As with many other indicators, the data used in VWAP calculations are derived from historical price movements. Indicator data for future price movements may therefore be determined with a delay.

Inaccurate Results: One of the most important elements in trading via VWAP is the timeframes analyzed. VWAP data is obtained through calculations based on the candles analyzed. On the other hand, analyzing a large number of candles averaging these data together, and developing a trading strategy in this context may lead to inaccurate results.

More Accurate on Liquid Assets: Since VWAP is based on volume-weighted price averages, it is very important that the historical data is based on accurate and logical frameworks. Since financial assets with low liquidity can be subject to sudden manipulations, data obtained from price averages may not provide accurate results.

What is The Importance Of VWAP In Technical Analysis?

Overbought and Oversold Levels: Overbought is when the price of a financial asset is higher than it should be, while oversold is when the price is below its fair value. VWAP stands out as one of the indicators that traders can use to identify overbought or oversold areas. A price that exceeds the upper band of the VWAP is considered to be in an overbought area, while a price that is lower than the lower band may indicate an oversold area. Traders should seek confirmation from other technical indicators before applying the signals obtained through VWAP to their trading decisions.

Support and Resistance: Traders sometimes interpret the VWAP line as direct support or resistance. To benefit from such a use, a detailed study of price action about the VWAP line is necessary.

Volume Confirmation: Considered as one of the building blocks of financial markets, volume is one of the elements that traders follow in all kinds of price movements. Volume confirmation can be used frequently to avoid any fakeout in trend changes or broken support/resistance. Since VWAP provides a volume-weighted price average, the data obtained is presented directly with the volume confirmation.

How To Read VWAP In Stock Chart?

The VWAP is usually shown as a single line on charts. The position of the price of the VWAP line provides insights into whether price movements tend to go up or down. An upward crossover of the VWAP level and a move toward the upper band imply a bullish direction, while a downward crossover of the VWAP line provides bearish insight, indicating that prices are prone to fall.

How Do Traders Use VWAP To Find Trade Entry And Exit Points?

By observing price movements about the VWAP line, traders can enter and exit many trades. When the price of a financial asset crosses above the VWAP line, traders may choose to enter a long position as a bullish signal is detected and the price is expected to continue rising. On the other hand, a cross below the VWAP line may be a bearish signal and therefore a suitable entry for traders to enter a short position. It is always important that entry and exit zones arising from VWAP crossovers are always supported by other indicators and that traders get confirmation from different places for more accurate trading decisions.

Can VWAP Be Used Together With Other Charting Patterns To Improve Trading?

The use of different indicators and patterns is quite common for traders who want to get a more comprehensive insight into the direction of the market. Among the most commonly used technical indicators are the Relative Strength Index (RSI) and MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergences). RSI allows traders to identify overbought and oversold conditions of a financial asset and possible divergences between price and indicator, which can be used as a confirmation for VWAP. MACD, on the other hand, can be a confirmation of the future of the market by overlapping with the VWAP line, which is followed simultaneously, as it expresses bullish momentum when it goes above the signal line.

The use of chart patterns such as head and shoulders or triangle patterns with VWAP is also quite common. Traders who detect the formation of a particular pattern can use VWAP to determine whether the price will move in the direction indicated by the pattern or not. In trading strategies where VWAP is integrated, other indicators and chart patterns always play a role in making the decisions more accurate.

What Are the Common Applications Of VWAP In Algorithmic Trading?

Algorithmic trading is the modeling of changing price data in which there is no human intervention and trading is carried out automatically by computer. The use of algorithmic trading is increasing day by day among traders. Since VWAP provides comprehensive insight into possible price movements along with volume confirmation, it can also be used as a tool to identify potential price movements. Traders using VWAP can protect themselves against sudden price movements due to external factors, and by trading based on price averages, traders can avoid unnecessary costs by reducing the slippage rate incurred.

What Are The Common Mistakes Traders Make When Using VWAP?

One of the most common mistakes made when using the VWAP for technical analysis is for traders to trade using only the data from this indicator. Although VWAP provides traders with important insights using price and volume data, it is important to remember that it has its limitations and that the inferences drawn from time to time may be incorrect. For those interested in making more informed trading decisions with the most accurate results, it is recommended to use the results obtained through VWAP in conjunction with other indicators.



How can I add the VWAP to the charts?

The Volume-Weighted Average Price is available in the indicators section of many trading platforms. If VWAP is selected as an indicator to be displayed, it will automatically appear on the chart.


Can the VWAP be used in any timeframe?

Yes, it can be used. However, since VWAP can be used on any timeframe but only calculated for a single day, averaging VWAP over multiple days can give traders inaccurate insights.


Can the VWAP  be applied to all financial instruments?

Yes, the VWAP can be used for all financial instruments.


Is the VWAP suitable for all traders?

Since the VWAP indicator requires a good understanding of both price and volume movements, it is generally suitable for intermediate and advanced traders.


Under which trend conditions does the Parabolic SAR provide the most accurate results?

Downward or upward trend movements rather than sideways are more suitable for more accurate VWAP insights.



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