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Gold Holds Gains After U.S. Jobless Claims Rise 10,000 To 231,000

Kitco News

Editor's Note: Updating earlier story with more details from report.

(Kitco News- Gold held overnight gains after Labor Department data Thursday showed that initial weekly U.S. jobless claims rose by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 231,000 in the week to Saturday.

Consensus expectations compiled by various news organizations had called for initial claims to be around 217,000 to 218,000. The government revised the prior week’s tally to 221,000 from the previously reported 216,000.

As of 8:37 a.m. EST, spot gold was trading up by $5 for the day to $1,289.20 an ounce. Three minutes ahead of the report on jobless claims, the metal was at $1,286.70.

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 500 claims to 218,750.

Continuing jobless claims, the number of people already receiving benefits and reported with a one-week delay, increased by 32,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.74 million during the week ending Dec. 22, the government said.

Traders monitor jobs data closely to gauge how aggressively the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee alters monetary policy. The key labor-market data this week will be Friday’s release of December nonfarm payrolls, which are expected to rise by 184,000. Payroll processor ADP released its monthly report on private-sector hiring early Thursday, saying that a stronger-than-forecast 271,000 new jobs were created last month. 

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