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On-Balance Volume (OBV)


On-Balance Volume (OBV) is a technical analysis indicator used in finance, created by Joseph Granville, to track the relationship between trading volume and price movements. This financial metric measures cumulative buying and selling pressure by adding or subtracting the volume of each trading day, based on whether the market price closed higher or lower compared to the previous day. It aims to predict trends and potential reversals in the market by identifying divergences between the OBV and the security’s price.


The phonetics of the keyword “On-Balance Volume (OBV)” are: ɒn ˈbæləns ˈvɒljuːm (oʊ ˌbiː ˈviː)On – ɒn / oʊ (like the word “on”)Balance – ˈbæləns (sounds like “bal-uhns”)Volume – ˈvɒljuːm (sounds like “vol-yoom”)OBV – oʊ ˌbiː ˈviː (pronounced as individual letters, O-B-V)

Key Takeaways

  1. On-Balance Volume (OBV) is a technical analysis indicator that utilizes volume and price data to determine the cumulative buying and selling pressure in a financial instrument such as a stock or a currency pair.
  2. OBV works by adding volume to a cumulative total on days when the price closes higher and subtracting volume from the cumulative total on days when the price closes lower. This helps to reveal divergence between price trends and volume trends, which can help traders identify potential trend reversals or confirm the strength of existing trends.
  3. OBV can be used in conjunction with other technical indicators, such as moving averages and support/resistance levels, to develop a comprehensive trading strategy and manage risk. Moreover, OBV is useful in identifying breakouts and providing trade signals or exit points in the market.


On-Balance Volume (OBV) is an important financial term as it serves as a valuable technical analysis indicator used to gauge the momentum of trading volumes in the market. By tracking the cumulative volume based on the period’s price movement, OBV helps investors and analysts determine the strength of a given price trend and anticipate potential reversals or breakouts. Strong buying or selling pressures are often reflected through significant changes in OBV, indicating the conviction of market participants in the asset’s price direction. This tool enables traders to formulate well-informed decisions by complementing other analytical methods, ultimately leading to a more comprehensive understanding of market dynamics and potential investment opportunities.


On-Balance Volume (OBV) is a technical analysis indicator widely employed by traders and analysts to assess the strength of a security’s price movements by taking into account both the volume and direction of trades. The primary purpose of OBV is to identify potential market trends, specifically by observing if the flow of trading volume is confirming a price trend or signaling a possible reversal. In essence, OBV helps investors in determining whether a price move is supported by a healthy level of buying or selling activity, supporting them to make informed decisions in their trading activities. One of the primary uses of On-Balance Volume is in determining the accumulation or distribution of a security, which is vital for understanding the overall market sentiment. When OBV trends upwards along with the security’s price, it indicates that the trading volume is favoring the buy-side, affirming a bull market and suggesting that the upward momentum is likely to continue. Conversely, when OBV trends downwards while the security’s price is rising, it signals a potential bearish divergence, implying that the upward price movement is not supported by strong buying activity and might soon experience a reversal. By utilizing OBV, traders can gain valuable insights into the underlying health of a price trend and make more informed investment decisions based on the presented market conditions.


On-Balance Volume (OBV) is a financial technical analysis indicator that measures trading volume and price changes to predict the direction of price movements. It is often used to identify potential trends in stocks, currencies, commodities, or other financial assets. Here are three real-world examples of the application of OBV in different financial markets: 1. Stock Market: An investor wants to determine the strength of a price movement in Apple Inc. (AAPL) stocks. They utilize the OBV to analyze cumulative buying and selling pressure by considering the trading volume and price changes. A consistently increasing OBV indicates that buying pressure is surpassing selling pressure, suggesting that the price may continue to rise. Conversely, if the OBV is decreasing, it implies higher selling pressure, and the price may decline in the future. 2. Forex Market: A currency trader seeks to identify a potential trend reversal in the EUR/USD currency pair. They apply the OBV indicator to measure the flow of money and identify divergences between the price movement and volume. If the price reaches a new high while the OBV fails to follow suit, it indicates a potential bearish divergence, suggesting a possible trend reversal from an upward to downward trajectory. A bullish divergence occurs when the price reaches a new low, and the OBV does not, pointing to a potential upward trend shift. 3. Cryptocurrency Market: A crypto-investor is analyzing the price trend of Bitcoin (BTC) to determine whether they should buy or sell. The investor uses the OBV indicator to gauge market sentiment by analyzing the trading volume and price changes. An increasing OBV could signify growing investor interest and confidence in Bitcoin, which could potentially lead to further price appreciation. On the other hand, a decreasing OBV may signal decreasing investor interest and confidence, possibly leading to a decline in the asset’s price.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is On-Balance Volume (OBV)?
On-Balance Volume (OBV) is a technical analysis indicator used to measure cumulative buying and selling pressure in a financial market, such as stocks or cryptocurrencies, by analyzing volume changes over time.
How is the On-Balance Volume (OBV) calculated?
OBV is calculated by keeping a running total of the volume, adding the current day’s volume if the security closes higher than its previous close, and subtracting the current day’s volume if the security closes lower than its previous close.
What does a rising OBV indicate?
A rising OBV indicates that the security is potentially experiencing strong buying pressure and could potentially lead to an increase in the price.
What does a falling OBV signify?
A falling OBV indicates that the security is under selling pressure, which could potentially lead to a decrease in the asset’s price.
How can investors use OBV in their trading strategies?
Investors can use OBV to identify potential trends and reversals in a security’s price. When OBV matches the price movement, it confirms the trend. Conversely, when OBV diverges from the price movement, it may signal a potential price reversal.
Can OBV be used for any financial instrument?
Yes, OBV can be applied to any financial instrument with a trading volume, such as stocks, bonds, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.
Are there any limitations to the On-Balance Volume (OBV) indicator?
Yes, OBV has some limitations, including its reliance on volume data which can sometimes be less reliable, its inability to correctly predict price movements all the time, and the potential for false signals when used in isolation.
How can traders improve the accuracy of OBV?
Traders can improve the accuracy of OBV by using it in conjunction with other technical analysis tools and indicators, such as moving averages, trend lines, and support/resistance levels, to increase the probability of accurate predictions.

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