What is Williams %R Indicators| How to use this Indicator

Williams %R
The Williams %R, often referred to as Williams Percent Range or simply %R, is a momentum oscillator that measures overbought and oversold levels. Developed by Larry Williams, this indicator is similar in computation and interpretation to the Stochastic Oscillator. It provides insights into the market’s momentum and potential reversals.

A momentum oscillator is a technical analysis tool that moves around a reference line or a central value (often 0 or 100) and indicates the speed and strength of a price movement. By identifying overbought or oversold conditions, momentum oscillators help traders predict potential reversals in price. One such momentum oscillator is the Williams %R

Basics of Williams %R

  1. Calculation: The Williams %R is computed using the following formula:
    %R = ((Highest High – Close) / (Highest High – Lowest Low)) X -100

    • Highest High: Highest price over the look-back period (typically 14 periods).
    • Close: Current period’s closing price.
    • Lowest Low: Lowest price over the look-back period.
  2. Range: The %R oscillates between 0 and -100.
  3. Interpretation:
    • Values between 0 and -20: Considered overbought.
    • Values between -80 and -100: Considered oversold.

Using Williams %R in Trading

  1. Overbought/Oversold Levels:
    • Overbought: When %R moves above the -20 level, it suggests potential overvaluation and could indicate a bearish price reversal.
    • Oversold: When %R dips below the -80 level, it indicates potential undervaluation, signaling a potential bullish price reversal.
  2. Buy/Sell Signals:
    • Buy Signal: A move from below -80 to above -80 could be seen as a buying opportunity.
    • Sell Signal: A move from above -20 to below -20 could indicate a selling opportunity.
  3. Divergence:
    • Bullish Divergence: If the price makes a new low, but the Williams %R doesn’t, it can be a sign that the bearish momentum is waning and a bullish reversal might be near.
    • Bearish Divergence: If the price makes a new high, but the Williams %R fails to do so, it can indicate a potential bearish price reversal.

Strengths and Limitations


  • Objective: The Williams %R provides clear overbought and oversold levels.
  • Flexibility: The look-back period can be adjusted based on the trader’s preferences.


  • False Signals: Like all indicators, %R can generate false signals, especially in strong trending markets.
  • Lagging Nature: Being a momentum oscillator, it may lag actual price movements.
An example of williams %r
The Williams %R is a versatile momentum oscillator that offers insights into potential market reversals. When used judiciously and in tandem with other technical tools, it can provide valuable insights into market conditions. By understanding its characteristics and potential pitfalls, traders can harness the power of momentum and the insights offered by the Williams %R to make more informed trading decisions.

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