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Gold Remains Softer After U.S. Jobless Claims Fall 2,000 To 238,000

Kitco News

Editor's Note: Updating earlier story to add gold prices, more details from report.

(Kitco News) - Gold remained on the defensive Thursday after a Labor Department report showing that weekly U.S. jobless claims fell by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 238,000 in the week to Saturday.

Consensus expectations compiled by various news organizations called for initial claims to be around   240,000. The government revised the prior week’s tally to 240,000 from the previously reported 239,000.

As of 8:36 a.m. EST, Comex February gold was $6.60 lower at $1,279.60 an ounce. The metal had been at $1,280.90 two minutes before reports on jobless claims and personal income and spending.

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 – was up by 2,250 claims to 242,250.

Continuing jobless claims, the number of people already receiving benefits and reported with a one-week delay, increased by 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1,957,000 during the week ending Nov. 18, the government said. The four-week moving average rose by 18,250 to 1,911,000.

Traders monitor jobs data closely to gauge how aggressively the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee alters monetary policy.

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