What Is The Ichimuko Cloud & How To Trade With It

Ichimuko Cloud

The Ichimoku cloud is a type of technical analysis that defines support and resistance levels, momentum, and trend direction.

The Ichimoku was developed by Goichi Hosoda, a Japanese journalist in the 1960s. It is also called Ichimoku Kinko Hyo.

What is the Ichimoku Cloud?

The Ichimoku is a collection of many indicators that display momentum, trend, and support and resistance levels by plotting various averages. The cloud in Ichimuko represents future projections of support and resistance levels. When the price is below the cloud, it signifies a downtrend, and when the price is above the cloud, it’s a signal of an uptrend.

The Ichimoku cloud’s main advantage is that it presents more data points than the ordinary candlestick chart.

Here’s what the pattern looks like on the chart:

Ichimoku Cloud on the chart
Ichimoku Cloud on the chart

The Ichimoku compromises of five lines, two of them form a cloud. These lines include a nine-period average, 26-period average, average of these two averages, and a 52-period average. The name of these five lines are; conversion line, base line, leading span A, leading span B, and lagging span A. The formula for these lines is:

  • Conversion Line = 29-PH + 9-PL​
  • Base Line = 226-PH + 26-PL​
  • Leading Span A = CL + Base Line/2
  • ​Leading Span B = 52-PH + 52-PL/2 ​
  • Lagging Span =Close plotted 26 periods

where:

PH=Period high, PL=Period low, CL=Conversion line​

In Ichimoku Cloud, the above-mentioned formula is applied automatically; however, if a trader wants to implement it himself/herself according to their settings, they can do so.

While interpreting Ichimuko, some traders confuse it with the moving averages. While the Ichimuko resembles moving averages, the difference comes in their calculations.

How to use the Ichimoku cloud?

The Ichimoku provides buy and sell signals because of its ability to detect the trend and price momentum. Hence, it can be bullish and bearish.

Bullish Ichimuko

The bullish trend occurs when the leading span A crosses above the leading span B line, and when the price is above the cloud.

Bearish Ichimuko

The bearish Ichimuko appears when the leading span A crosses below the leading span B line, and when the price is below the cloud.

Ichimoku bearish and bullish trend
Ichimoku bearish and bullish trend

The Ichimoku produces a buy signal when the conversion line crosses above the base line. On the other hand, when the conversion line crosses below the base line, the Ichimuko generates a sell signal.

Note that If the price is hanging in the cloud, there is a chance of a reversal.

With all these lines on the chart, some traders can get confuse interpreting Ichimuko. To solve this problem, a trader can hide lines except for leading span A and B. These lines create the cloud and provide more information than other lines.

Ichimoku cloud trading strategy

In particular, the Ichimuko is helpful for day-trading and intra-day trading. Traders look for support and resistance levels, crossovers to determine the direction of the trend.

Traders may wish to combine the Ichimoku cloud with other technical indicators like the RSI to perfect their trading strategies.

Ichimoku cloud buy strategy

  • The leading span A must crosses above the leading span B.
  • Wait for the price bar to go bullish before entering.
  • Enter the trade after the crossover.
  • Place a stop-loss at a recent low from the candle after the crossover.
  • Exit the trade when the Ichimuko shows a reversal.
Ichimoku Cloud buy setup
Ichimoku Cloud buy setup

Ichimoku cloud sell strategy

  • The leading span A must crosses below the leading span B.
  • Wait for the price bar to go bearish before entering.
  • Enter the trade after the crossover.
  • Place a stop-loss at a recent high from the candle after the crossover.
  • Exit the trade when the Ichimuko shows a reversal.
Ichimoku Cloud sell setup
Ichimoku Cloud sell setup

Ichimoku cloud conclusion

There is a lot going around in the Ichimoku cloud. What traders can do is hide lines except for leading span A and B. The Ichimoku Cloud can be used on your forex trading platform charts to help filter potential trading signals as part of an overall trading strategy.

I would prefer to use the majority of technical indicators such as the Ichimoku Cloud on the 1-hour charts and above. I tend to find that these charts contain less market noise than the lower time frames and thus give more reliable signals for my forex trading strategies. This also means that I spend less time staring at charts and can also set alert notifications to let me know when price has reached certain levels, candlestick pattern has been formed or a particular indicator value has been reached.

The Ichimoku Cloud is just one method of market analysis amongst thousands. I would not build a trading system alone, but rather combine with other technical indicators such as moving averages, Parabolic SAR, Stochastic Oscillator, RSI, ADX and price action analysis.

Of course, every trading system will generate false signals which is why money management is so important. I would personally be implementing sensible money management and only take traders that give me a favorable risk to reward ratio, ideally of at least 1:3. This means that one losing trade does not wipe out consecutive winners.

The methods of implementing the Ichimoku Cloud into a trading strategy that are outlined within this article are just ideas. I would always ensure that I have good money management, trading discipline and a trading plan when using any forex strategy.

Furthermore, I would combine multiple technical analysis, fundamental analysis, price action analysis and sentiment analysis to filter all entries. You should trade forex in a way that suits your own individual style, needs and goals.

If you would like to practice trading with the Ichimoku Cloud, you can open an account with a forex broker and download a trading platform. If you are looking for a forex broker, you may wish to view my best forex brokers for some inspiration.

Happy trading!