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Gold Prices Holding Gains Despite Positive Labor Market Data

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Gold prices are holding on to modest gains Thursday even as U.S. initial jobless claims remain near their lowest level in 49 years.

Initial weekly U.S. jobless claims rose by only 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000 in the week to Saturday, the Labor Department reported, Thursday.

Consensus forecasts compiled by various news organizations had called for initial claims to be around 225,000. The government left the previous week’s report unrevised.

Gold prices are reacting little to U.S. economic data after it found some momentum following Wednesday’s Federal Reserve monetary policy decision. Although the U.S. central bank left rates unchanged, it hinted that it would be comfortable seeing inflation rise above the 2% target, which some have said is bullish for the yellow metal because this scenario will keep real interest rates low.

June gold futures last traded at $1,316.90 an ounce, up 0.87% on the day.

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 7,750 claims to 221,500.

Continuing jobless claims, the number of people already receiving benefits and reported with a one-week delay, decreased by 77,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.756 million during the week ending April 21, the government said. “This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since December 8, 1973 when it was 1,717,000,” the report said.

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

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