Gold Edges Down As U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Decline By 12,000
(Kitco News) - U.S. initial weekly jobless claims dropped by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 260,000 in the week to Saturday, the Labor Department said. The total was better than expected.
Market consensus called for initial claims to decrease to around 265,000. The government did not revise the prior week’s figures.
The report also noted that Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria had an impact on the weekly data.
In an initial reaction to the weekly jobless claims data, December Comex gold gave up some of its early morning gains, last trading $1,278.60, up 0.16% on the day. Prior to the data release, gold prices were firmer amid some short covering and bargain hunting after a recent selling spree.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average for new claims – often viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it smoothens out week-to-week volatility – fell by 9,500 to 268,250 from last week’s unrevised average of 277,750.
Continuing jobless claims, the number of people already receiving benefits and reported with a one-week delay, was up from the previous week’s revised levels, standing at 1,938,000 during the week ending September 23, the report said. The four-week moving average dropped by 3,250 to 1,947,000.
Traders monitor jobs data closely to gauge how aggressively the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee alters monetary policy. Plus, this week’s release has an additional significance for economists, as it comes out a day prior to the monthly non-farm payrolls figures from September.