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The impact of stock volume on market movements

Volume is a fundamental concept in the share market that many traders and investors might overlook. It offers a window into the collective mindset of market participants regarding a specific security. This indicator is readily accessible on your trading platform, yet it’s possible you haven’t given it much thought until now.

Gaining an understanding of volume might provide new perspectives on how the stock market operates. Volume is not just about the number of shares traded; it’s about what this activity tells us regarding investor sentiment and market direction. Let’s delve into what is volume in the share market and explore its implications in the stock market.

What is volume in the stock market?

In the stock market, volume is the total number of shares exchanged over a given time frame, such as a day, week, or month. This number includes all shares bought and sold, giving us insight into the market’s activity level.

Top volume share indicates a lot of interest in a stock or market, showing that many transactions occur. It could mean something significant is happening with the company or within the industry, attracting investors’ attention. Conversely, low volume suggests less interest and activity, possibly indicating a lack of news or developments affecting the stock or market.

For example consider the NIFTY 50 volume, if the trading volume for the stocks in index was 242 million shares on a given day, it indicates that 242 million shares changed hands — purchased by some investors and sold by others on that day.

Why is stock volume important?

Volume is essential for several reasons. Investors might use it first to determine a stock’s liquidity. The ease of buying or selling shares on the market without impacting the stock’s price is referred to as liquidity. High volume share means high liquidity, making it easier to buy or sell shares without a significant impact on the price.

Secondly, volume can act as a confirmation tool for price movements. If a stock price moves significantly on high volume, this is seen as a stronger, more relevant move than if the same move happened on low volume. In simple terms, high volume alongside price changes suggests a more meaningful market consensus about the stock’s value.

For example, consider a company, YYY, whose shares see a trading volume of 200 thousand in a day, with 150 thousand shares bought and 50 thousand sold. This activity level reflects not just the interest in YYY but also contributes to the stock’s liquidity and price stability.

Moreover, volume isn’t just about the shares themselves. It applies to various financial instruments, including derivatives, commodities, and currencies. Traders and investors rely on daily volume numbers disclosed by stock exchanges, including the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), to make informed decisions about individual stocks and the overall market.

How to read volume?

Reading volume in the share market is crucial for understanding market activity and making informed trading decisions. Volume is usually displayed at the bottom of a price chart as vertical bars, each representing the total trading volume for a specific time period. For instance, on a 1-day chart in NSE daily trading volume, each volume bar shows the total volume traded in that 1-day span.

Volume bars are often coloured green or red. Green bars indicate net buying volume, suggesting more shares were bought than sold. Red bars represent net selling volume, which means that more shares were sold than were purchased. This visual cue helps traders quickly gauge market sentiment.

Trading volume in technical analysis

In the context of technical analysis, volume plays a significant role. It is used alongside the study of price movements and trading patterns to guide buying and selling decisions. 

High volume during a price move lends credibility to that move. It suggests a strong interest in the stock at its current price, making the move more significant. Conversely, low volume indicates less interest and makes the move less reliable.

Analysts and traders also use volume to confirm price movements. If volume increases as a price moves up or down, it suggests the price movement is strong and has backing. It is seen as a bullish sign. This is often seen through bar charts, which make it easier to spot trends in volume. High bars on a chart indicate high volume, pointing to strong interest at a particular price level.

To gauge market direction, traders look at volume in relation to price levels. High buying volume at a support level (a price floor) may suggest a potential reversal, indicating strength. Similarly, high selling volume at a resistance level (a price ceiling) could signal a downturn. Conversely, low volume at these key levels may indicate weakness or a lack of conviction among traders.

Some traders use a moving average of volume to identify when trading activity is notably high or low compared to the average. This can signal potential opportunities or risks.


Volume is a vital indicator that sheds light on market sentiment and trends. By understanding and utilising volume analysis, traders can make more informed decisions, identifying potential opportunities and risks in the market. 


What is a good volume for stocks?

A “good” volume for stocks can vary widely depending on the market and the specific stock. Typically, a higher volume indicates greater interest and activity, which in turn suggests a more strong market environment for that stock. Generally, such stocks are traded in the range of hundreds of thousands to millions of shares per day. This level of activity indicates a significant amount of investor engagement, which can make it easier to enter or exit positions due to better liquidity.

Is high volume good for a stock?

Yes, high volume is often seen as positive for a stock. It indicates strong interest from investors and traders, suggesting a healthy level of liquidity. This makes it easier to execute trades without significantly affecting the stock’s price. Additionally, high volume can validate price movements; a stock price increase in high volume is generally viewed as a bullish sign, whereas a price drop in high volume might be considered bearish. 

How do you know if volume is buying or selling?

If you want to determine whether a stock’s volume indicates buying or selling, you need to analyse its price movement in relation to the volume data. If the stock closes higher than its opening price on a day with high volume, it indicates buying interest. Conversely, if the stock closes lower on high volume, it suggests selling pressure. Also, look at the volume bars on charts —green for buying and red for selling —to help visually distinguish between the two.

How do you calculate stock volume?

Stock volume is calculated by summing the number of shares traded during a specific period. It includes all shares bought and sold in the market for that period. Exchanges report the volume of stock and can be found on financial websites and trading platforms. Essentially, each time a share is bought or sold, it adds to the volume count, giving a numerical value to the stock’s trading activity.

What is the volume indicator of a stock?

The volume indicator of a stock shows the total number of shares that have been traded within a specific time frame. It helps investors and traders gauge the stock’s activity level and market interest. Volume indicators are essential tools in technical analysis, assisting in identifying trends, reversals, and confirming the strength of price movements.

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