Volume-Weighted Average Price (VWAP): Definition and Calculation

What Is the Quantity-Weighted Common Worth (VWAP)?

The quantity-weighted common worth (VWAP) is a technical evaluation indicator used on intraday charts that resets initially of each new buying and selling session.

It is a buying and selling benchmark that represents the typical worth a safety has traded at all through the day, primarily based on each quantity and worth.

VWAP is necessary as a result of it offers merchants with pricing perception into each the development and worth of a safety.

Key Takeaways

  • The quantity-weighted common worth (VWAP) seems as a single line on intraday charts.
  • It appears to be like just like a transferring common line, however smoother.
  • VWAP represents a view of worth motion all through a single day’s buying and selling session.
  • Retail {and professional} merchants could use the VWAP to assist them decide intraday worth developments.
  • VWAP sometimes is most helpful to short-term merchants.

Quantity Weighted Common Worth

Understanding the Quantity-Weighted Common Worth

VWAP is calculated by totaling the {dollars} traded for each transaction (worth multiplied by the quantity) after which dividing by the full shares traded.

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VWAP = Cumulative Typical Worth x Quantity/Cumulative Quantity

The place Typical Worth = Excessive worth + Low worth + Closing Worth/3

Cumulative = complete for the reason that buying and selling session opened.

The best way to calculate VWAP

By including the VWAP indicator to a streaming chart, the calculation can be made routinely. Nonetheless, to calculate the VWAP your self, observe the steps beneath.

Assume a 5-minute chart. The calculation is identical no matter what intraday timeframe is used.

  1. Discover the typical worth the inventory traded at over the primary 5-minute interval of the day. To do that, add the excessive, low, and shut, then divide by three. Multiply this by the quantity for that interval. File the lead to a spreadsheet, beneath column PV.
  2. Divide PV by the quantity for that interval. This may produce the VWAP.
  3. To take care of the VWAP all through the day, proceed so as to add the PV worth from every interval to the prior values. Divide this complete by complete quantity as much as that time.

To make Step 3 simpler in a spreadsheet, create columns for cumulative PV and cumulative quantity and apply the method to them.


How Is VWAP Used?

VWAP is utilized in other ways by merchants. Merchants could use VWAP as a development affirmation software and construct buying and selling guidelines round it. As an example, they might take into account shares with costs beneath VWAP as undervalued and people with costs above it, overvalued. If costs beneath VWAP transfer above it, merchants could go lengthy on the inventory. If costs above VWAP transfer beneath it, they might promote their positions or provoke brief positions.

Institutional consumers together with mutual funds use VWAP to assist transfer into or out of shares with as small of a market impression as doable. Subsequently, once they can, establishments will attempt to purchase beneath the VWAP, or promote above it. This fashion their actions push the value again towards the typical, as an alternative of away from it.


VWAP’s incorporation of quantity is efficacious to merchants for what it may point out concerning the diploma of buying and selling exercise throughout brief durations of time—whether or not the competitors is taking or exiting positions.

Particular Concerns

The Distinction Between VWAP and a Easy Transferring Common

On a chart, VWAP and a easy transferring common (SMA) could look comparable. Nonetheless, these two indicators are calculated otherwise and characterize totally different outcomes.

VWAP is calculated by multiplying typical worth by quantity, and the dividing by complete quantity.

A easy transferring common incorporates worth however not quantity. The SMA is calculated by totaling closing costs over a sure interval (say 10 days) after which dividing the full by the variety of durations (10).

Limitations of VWAP

VWAP is a single-day indicator and restarts on the open of every new buying and selling day. Making an attempt to create a median VWAP over many days might distort it and lead to an incorrect indicator.

Whereas some establishments could favor to purchase when the value of a safety is beneath the VWAP, or promote when it’s above, VWAP will not be the one issue to think about. In sturdy uptrends, the value could proceed to maneuver greater for a lot of days with out dropping beneath the VWAP in any respect or solely sometimes. Subsequently, ready for the value to fall beneath VWAP might imply a missed alternative if costs are rising shortly.

VWAP is predicated on historic values and doesn’t inherently have predictive qualities or calculations. VWAP is anchored to the opening worth vary of the day. Subsequently, the indicator will increase its lag because the day goes on.

This may be seen in the best way a 1-minute interval VWAP calculation after 330 minutes (the size of a typical buying and selling session) will typically resemble a 390-minute transferring common on the finish of the buying and selling day.

What Is the Quantity-Weighted Common Worth (VWAP)?

The quantity-weighted common worth (VWAP) is a measurement that reveals the typical worth of a safety, adjusted for its quantity. It’s calculated throughout a particular buying and selling session by taking the full greenback worth of buying and selling within the safety and dividing it by the quantity of trades. The method for calculating VWAP is cumulative typical worth x quantity divided by cumulative quantity.

Why Is the Quantity-Weighted Common Worth Essential?

VWAP offers merchants a smoothed-out indication of a safety’s worth (adjusted for quantity) over time. It’s utilized by institutional merchants to make sure that their trades don’t transfer the value of the safety they’re making an attempt to purchase or promote too extraordinarily.

For instance, a hedge fund would possibly chorus from submitting a purchase order for a worth above the safety’s VWAP, with a purpose to keep away from artificially inflating the value of that safety. Likewise, it would keep away from submitting orders too far beneath the VWAP, in order that the value will not be dragged down by its sale.

What Is the Distinction Between the Quantity-Weighted Common Worth and a Easy Transferring Common (SMA)?

Just like the VWAP, the easy transferring common offers merchants with a much less risky view of the latest worth development of a safety. Not like the VWAP, nevertheless, the easy transferring common doesn’t have in mind the extent of quantity in that safety’s buying and selling.

VWAP weights every day’s worth change by the quantity of quantity occurring in that day, whereas the easy transferring common incorporates worth and no quantity.

The Backside Line

The Quantity Weighted Worth Index is a technical evaluation indicator utilized by merchants to find out that the typical worth of a safety is predicated on each worth and quantity.