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Gold prices testing resistance at $1,900 as U.S. weekly jobless claims drop below 800K

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(Kitco News) - Gold prices are testing resistance around $1,900 in the final trading day of 2020 even as fewer-than-expected Americans applied for first-time unemployment benefits.

Although initial weekly jobless claims are still elevated compared to historical levels, the number of claims last week fell below 800,000 for the first time in nearly a month.

Thursday, the Labor Department said that 787,000 Americans filed for first-time U.S. jobless claims in the week to Saturday a drop of 19,000 from the previous week's revised level of 806,000.

The drop in jobless claims was slightly better than expected. According to consensus forecasts, economists were expecting to see claims of around 832,000.

The four-week moving average for new claims – often viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it smooths out week-to-week volatility – rose to 836,750, up 17,750 claims from the previous week.

Continuing jobless claims, the number of people already receiving benefits and reported with a one-week delay, fell to 5.219 million for the week ending Dec. 19. Continuing claims dropped 103,000 claims from the previous week, the government said.

The last U.S. economic report of 2020 is not having much impact on gold prices. February gold futures last traded at $1,901.20 an ounce, up 0.41% on the day.

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