Natural Way Recalls Almond Butter For Undeclared Peanuts

Gold Prices Rise As Dollar Stays On Back Foot

Gold prices rose for a third day running on Monday to hold near three-month highs as surging COVID-19 cases in some Asian countries and inflation pressures tempered demand for riskier assets.

Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,850.36 an ounce, after having gained 0.9 percent on Friday. U.S. gold futures were up 0.7 percent at $1,850.95.

The dollar weakened amid dovish Fed expectations and Treasury yields eased as investors await the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest meeting, due out Wednesday, for further clues to officials’ views on the recovery.

Disappointing U.S. retail sales data released on Friday, mixed economic data from China and a worsening coronavirus outbreak in Asia also supported the precious metal’s safe-haven appeal.

The daily new COVID cases being registered in India fell below 3 lakh after 26 days, but the death toll climbed to 2,74,390 with 4,106 fatalities.

Elsewhere in Japan, the government enhanced its response to tackle the fourth wave of coronavirus infections with expanded and extended state of emergency in more areas.

Taiwan and Singapore announced restrictions on public gatherings and other curbs over the weekend following a rise in new infections.

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Unexpectedly Deteriorates In May

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. has unexpectedly decreased in the month of May, according to preliminary data released by the University of Michigan on Friday.

The report showed the consumer sentiment index dropped to 82.8 in May from 88.3 in April. The decrease surprised economists, who had expected the index to rise to 90.4.

“Consumer confidence in early May tumbled due to higher inflation–the highest expected year-ahead inflation rate as well as the highest long term inflation rate in the past decade,” said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin

He added, “The average of net price mentions for buying conditions for homes, vehicles, and household durables were more negative than any time since the end of the last inflationary era in 1980.”

However, Curtin predicted that consumer spending would continue to advance despite higher prices due to pent-up demand and record saving balances.

The report showed the current economic conditions index slid to 90.8 in May from 97.2 in April, while the index of consumer expectations fell to 77.6 from 82.7.

On the inflation front, one-year inflation expectations jumped to 4.6 percent in May from 3.4 percent in April. Five-year inflation expectations also rose to 3.1 percent from 2.7 percent.

Aon To Sell German Retirement And Investment Business To Lane Clark & Peacock

Aon plc (AON), a professional services provider of risk, retirement and health solutions, announced Monday its agreement to sell its pensions consulting, pension insurance broking, pensions administration and investment consulting business in Germany to Lane Clark & Peacock LLP or LCP. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The divesting retirement and investment business includes 350 colleagues across five offices in Germany. The business will be rebranded as LCP upon close of the deal.

The transaction with LCP is contingent on the completion of the pending Aon and Willis Towers Watson combination, as well as other customary closing conditions.

Aon noted that the planned sale resolves questions raised by the European Commission with respect to the markets in which these businesses are active. Aon and Willis Towers Watson continue to work toward obtaining additional regulatory approval in all relevant jurisdictions, including the United States, where regulators are conducting an independent review of the proposed combination.

Greg Case, Aon’s CEO, said, “This agreement demonstrates further momentum on the path to close our proposed combination with Willis Towers Watson.”

Following close of the transaction, the UK-based occupational pensions consultancy LCP will become one of the largest pensions consultancy firms in Germany.

Oil Edges Higher In Cautious Trade

Oil prices edged higher on Monday, even as a spike in COVID-19 cases in some parts of Asia raised concerns over slower recovery in fuel demand.

Optimism over the reopening of Europe lent some support as Britain took a big step towards reopening its economy, lifting a number of social restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

Brent crude oil futures for July settlement edged up 0.1 percent to $68.78 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.1 percent at $65.44 a barrel.

The oil market is largely convinced that a strong recovery in demand is imminent as the developed world reopens.

With climbing vaccinations and dwindling virus cases, investors expect increased demand for gasoline in the U.S. in the coming weeks.

Widespread gasoline shortages that have plagued the U.S. East Coast slowly eased on Sunday as the nation’s biggest fuel pipeline said it was back to delivering “millions of gallons per hour” following last week’s cyberattack.

Meanwhile, U.S energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs for a third week in a row as higher crude prices prompt some drillers to return to the wellpad, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said on Friday.

In the Middle East, Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group faced mounting international calls for a ceasefire in hostilities that entered their second week with no end in sight.

Natural Way Recalls Almond Butter For Undeclared Peanuts

Fayetteville, Arkansas -based Natural Way is recalling its 16 ounce jars of original almond butter citing the possible presence of undeclared peanut, an allergen, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

The recalled product comes in plastic jars marked with lot #505721 on the bottom and with an almond butter label with a UPC of 850001775175. The recalled almond butter was distributed nationwide in retail stores and through mail orders.

The company noted the potential for contamination after a customer informed Natural Way of a jar of peanut butter mislabeled as almond butter.

People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts may get serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume the product contained inside the recalled jars.

However, the company has not received any reports of illnesses to date in connection with the recalled products.

Consumers who have purchased 16 ounce jars of Natural Way nut butters are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

In similar recalls, Prineville, Oregon-based Creative Foods Inc. in mid April called back Bueno Coffee Substitute Creamy Hazelnut, which contains undeclared peanut and hazelnut; and Bueno Coffee Substitute Pecan Praline, which contains undeclared peanut and barley that has gluten.

Bobo’s in March recalled one lot of Bobo’s Maple Pecan Oat Bars for containing undeclared peanuts.