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Gold prices holding steady following drop in U.S. weekly jobless claims

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(Kitco News) - The U.S. labor market continues to see high levels of unemployment but the number of workers applying for initial unemployment benefits dropped more than expected last week.

Thursday the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims fell by 26,000 to 900,000, down from the previous week’s downwardly revised estimate of 926,000 claims.

The latest labor market data beat economists’ estimates as consensus forecasts called for initial claims to be round 930,000.

The gold market is seeing little reaction to the latest economic report as it continues to hold significant gains from the start of the week. February gold futures last traded at $1,870.80 an ounce, relatively unchanged on the day.

The four-week moving average for new claims – often viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it flattens week-to-week volatility – rose to 848,000, an increase of 23,500 claims from the previous week.

Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 5.054 million during the week ending Jan. 9, down by 127,000 from the previous week.

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