Oil Futures Close Sharply Lower As Demand Worries Weigh

Gold Futures Settled Lower On Monday

Gold prices drifted lower on Monday as demand for the yellow metal dropped amid rising prospects of further rate hikes by global central banks to combat soaring inflation.

The dollar’s somewhat steady performance weighed on gold prices. The dollar index, which climbed to a fresh 20-year high at 104.19 in the Asian session, dropped into the red in early New York session, but recovered subsequently to around 104.00 before losing its way again.

The yield on U.S. 10-year bonds rose to 3.18% for the first time since November 2018, amid rising expectations of tighter polcy by global central banks.

Gold futures for June ended lower by $24.20 or about 1.3% at $1,858.60 an ounce, recording the biggest decline in percentage terms in about a week.

Silver futures for July ended down by $0.547 at $21.820 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled at $4.1935 per pound, down $0.0735 from the previous close.

Germany’s 10-year bond yield hit a new highest level since 2014 after hawkish policymaker Robert Holzmann said on Saturday that the ECB should hike interest rates three times this year to combat inflation.

Although Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last week that a 75-bps rate hike is not under active consideration, several analysts are of the view that the central bank would need to take a more drastic action to curb soaring inflation. Markets appear to be expecting further 200 bps hike in interest rate before the end of this year.

U.S. Covid Hospitalizations Jump 21% In A Fortnight

The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus infection in the United States has increased by 21 percent in the last two weeks, according to the latest New York Times tally.

18,918 patients are remaining in the country’s hospitals for treatment for the viral disease. Out of this, 2,121 patients are admitted in intensive care units. A 12 percent increase in ICU admissions was recorded in the last two weeks.

The county on Sunday recorded 4,981 Covid cases and 23 deaths. With this, the total number of people that have been infected with the killer bug in the country has risen to 81,877,929, as per the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. U.S. Covid casualties increased to 997,539.

New York reported the most number of cases – 6,400 – and deaths – 19.

80,944,857 people have so far recovered from the disease, the Worldometer tally shows.

As per the latest data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 220,138,061 Americans, or 66.3 percent of the eligible population, have been administered both doses of Covid vaccine so far. This includes 90.5 percent of people above 65.

46 percent of the eligible population, or 101,244,437 people, have already received a booster dose that is recommended to provide additional protection from the killer virus.

702 additional deaths were reported globally on Sunday, taking the total number of people who lost their lives due to the pandemic so far to 6,251,526.

ProAssurance Corp. Q1 Earnings Summary

Below are the earnings highlights for ProAssurance Corp. (PRA):

Earnings: $3.56 million in Q1 vs. $7.74 million in the same period last year.
EPS: -$0.07 in Q1 vs. $0.14 in the same period last year.
Excluding items, ProAssurance Corp. reported adjusted earnings of $7.68 million or $0.14 per share for the period.

Analysts projected $0.18 per share
Revenue: $335.61 million in Q1 vs. $224.72 million in the same period last year.

International Flavors & Fragrances Lifts FY22 Revenue Outlook

While reporting its first-quarter results on Monday, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) lifted sales outlook for the full year 2022.

The company expects full-year sales to be about $12.6 billion to $13.0 billion, up from previous guidance of $12.3 billion to $12.7 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters currently estimate revenues of $11.87 billion for the year.

The company continues to expect full-year 2022 adjusted operating EBITDA of about $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion.

The company said it updated full year guidance reflects the expected Microbial Control divestiture, which is anticipated to be complete on July 1, 2022, versus June 1, 2022 previously expected, as well as the addition of the Health Wright Products acquisition, which closed on April 1, 2022.

Candied Morels Are a Spring Treat

Take a sweeter approach with the honeycomb fungi, now in season, by cooking them in sugar and serving with ice cream or foie gras.

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By Florence Fabricant

Oil Futures Close Sharply Lower As Demand Worries Weigh

Crude oil prices slumped on Monday, weighed down by concerns about outlook for energy demand amid the likely impact of the Ukraine war and a slowdown in Chinese economic growth amid the ongoing lockdown in Shanghai.

A sell-off in global markets amid rising worries about inflation, and the dollar’s climb to a fresh two-decade high hurt sentiment. The move by Saudi Arabia to cut prices for buyers in Asia amid a drop in demand in China weighed as well on the commodity.

Crude imports by China fell 4.8% in the first four months compared with last year.

The dollar index surged to 104.19 in the Asian session. Despite paring gains subsequently, the index moved higher again on safe-haven appeal as global stocks tumbled.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended down by $6.68 or about 6.1% at $103.09 a barrel.

Brent crude futures were down $6.51 or 5.8% at $105.88 a barrel a little while ago.

Data released on Saturday showed China’s export growth slowed substantially in April.

Tightening lockdowns in China have raised concerns about a recession later this year in the world’s second largest economy.

Shanghai has tightened lockdown measures after China’s premier Xi Jinping pledged to “unswervingly” double down on the country’s controversial zero-Covid policy.