The Williams %R – also known as the Williams Percentage Range – is a momentum indicator that some traders use to find entry and exit points for their positions. It uses 0 to -100 as its values, with 0 being used to represent an overbought market, and -100 being used to represent an oversold market.
- Williams %R moves between zero and -100.
- A reading above -20 is overbought.
- A reading below -80 is oversold.
- An overbought or oversold reading doesn’t mean the price will reverse. Overbought simply means the price is near the highs of its recent range, and oversold means the price is in the lower end of its recent range.
- Can be used to generate trade signals when the price and the indicator move out of overbought or oversold territory.
Limitations of Using the Williams %R
Overbought and oversold readings on the indicator don’t mean a reversal will occur. Overbought readings actually help confirm an uptrend, since a strong uptrend should regularly see prices that are pushing to or past prior highs (what the indicator is calculating).
The indicator can also be too responsive, meaning it gives many false signals. For example, the indicator may be in oversold territory and starts to move higher, but the price fails to do so. This is because the indicator is only looking at the last 14 periods. As periods go by, the current price relative to the highs and lows in the lookback period changes, even if the price hasn’t really moved.
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