LEAD TODAY – Prices edging higher to challenge peaks

Short Term:
Medium Term:
Long Term:
R1 2053 20 DMA
R2 2157 Sept high
R3 2162 HRL – May’15 high
R4 2307 HRL – July’14 high
R5 2499 Jan’13 high
S1 2053 20 DMA
S2 2014 UTL
S3 1966.50 Recent low
S4 1954 38.2% Fibo
S5 1916 July high
S6 1895 March high
S7 1783
S8 1683.50 Brexit-low
S9 1551.50 Nov 2015 low
S10 1535 June 2010 low

MACD = moving average convergence divergence

HSL = horizontal support line

Fibo = Fibonacci retracement level

RL = Resistance line

H&S = Head and shoulder pattern


  • Lead prices are pushing higher again and are well placed to take out the September highs.
  • Having raced higher in September, three-month prices stalled and fell back to $1,966 per tonne but this was well above the previous dip low and also above the 38.2% Fibo of the May-September rally. 
  • We expect lead to continue to work higher over the medium term but we predicted pullbacks along the way – as we have seen recently.
  • The stochastics are bullish again.

Macro factors

We were expecting some pockets of scale-up producer selling after prices had run into new high ground for the year late in September but the underlying trend looks strong and we like lead’s fundamentals, as we have all year. The fact prices have not held down for long highlights bullish sentiment.

Better PMI data of late and robust US, Chinese and EU vehicle sales also bode well for metal demand.

At face value, the combination of an apparent supply surplus, stable-but-higher LME stocks and a pick-up in available warrants following the rewarranting of metal in recent weeks provides little reason to be bullish in the short term. So prices should probably remain capped on the upside until there are more signs of a deficit emerging. But with the other metals extending gains, we think lead will follow, especially because we expect a deficit to materialise before long. We would get more comfortable if LME stocks started to fall. 

The c-3s spread is not particularly strong at a contango of $15.75-14.75 per tonne – this does not suggest short-covering. But Tuesday’s LME COTR showed the money managers’ gross short position dropped 50% last week – how that happened without tightening the spread is intriguing.


Lead’s latest rebound is working higher. A break above the September high at $2,157 per tonne and the May 2015 high at $2,162 per tonne would target the HRL on the monthly chart at $2,307 per tonne.

All trades or trading strategies mentioned in the report are hypothetical, for illustration only and do not constitute trading recommendations.