Why do you use 10-period RSI sometimes?


RSI settings depend on your analysis objectives. The default setting for RSI is 14 periods. However, when looking for short-term overbought/oversold readings, I like to use a shorter look-back period. Often, this is 10 days, which covers two weeks. When looking to capture general trend, a longer look-back period works better because it is less choppy.

The sensitivity of a momentum oscillator depends on the number of look-back periods. 10-period RSI will be more sensitive than 20-period RSI. This means 10-period RSI will produce more overbought (>70) and oversold readings (<30). 10-period RSI will also cross above/below 50 more often than 20-period RSI. Conversely, 20-period RSI will cross above/below 50 fewer times. This makes the longer version better suited for overall trend identification. Momentum favors an uptrend when RSI is above 50 and a downtrend when below 50.


The chart above shows RSI with 10, 14 and 20 periods. Notice that the actual line shapes are virtually equal. The biggest difference is the number of overbought/oversold readings and the crosses above/below 50.


Oscillator sensitivity is also influenced by the underlying security. Volatile securities will produce wider swings in RSI. An index, like the S&P 500, is generally less volatile than individual stocks. 10-period RSI for Amazon will be more volatile than 10-period RSI for the S&P 500. You can learn more about RSI in the Chart School.

Arthur Hill
About the author: , CMT, is a Senior Technical Analyst at He has written articles for numerous financial publications including Barrons and Stocks & Commodities magazine. Focusing predominantly on US equities and ETFs, his systematic approach of identifying trend, finding signals within the trend, and setting key price levels has made him an esteemed technician. In addition to his CMT designation, Arthur holds an MBA from the Cass Business School at City University in London. Learn More
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What period RSI would you use on a 10 and 60 minute charts?
I'd like to learn how I can put the RSI shown at the main chart, while I usually find that the indicator is at a level below the chart.
You can click on these charts to see the settings. When selecting your indicator in SharpCharts, you can choose the "position" on the chart. Position can be above, below, behind the main chart or behind an indicator. Best regards, Arthur.
The same principles apply to 10 minute and 60 minute charts. It depends on what you want to measure (overbought/oversold or trend (above/below 50)). For 60min charts, I typically use 10-period RSI to identify overbought/oversold levels and 30-period for trend. Best regards, Arthur
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