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Gold Stable As U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 9,000 To 221,000

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Gold prices did not move much after a Labor Department report Thursday showing that initial weekly U.S. jobless claims declined by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 221,000 in the week to Saturday.

Consensus expectations were for initial claims to be around 235,000. The government left the prior week’s tally unrevised at the previously reported 230,000.

As of 8:38 a.m. EST, Comex April gold was trading up $1.80 for the day to $1,316.40 an ounce. Three minutes ahead of the report, the metal was at $1,316.30.

“Claims-taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal,” the government said.

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 – was down by 10,000 claims to 224,500.

Continuing jobless claims, the number of people already receiving benefits and reported with a one-week delay, decreased by 33,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1,923,000 during the week ending Jan. 27, the government said. The four-week moving average rose by 12,500 to 1,946,000.

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

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