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Gold prices holding steady as U.S. weekly jobless claims rise by 498K, new pandemic low

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(Kitco News) - The gold market is trying to hold on to gains and remain in striking distance of $1,800 an ounce even as the U.S. labor market continues to improve with fewer than 500,000 American workers applying for first-time unemployment benefits.

the Labor Department said on Thursday, that initial weekly jobless claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 498,000 for the week ended May 1, down 92,000 claims from the previous week's revised level.

“This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000,” the report said.

Not only have claims fallen to their lowest level since the labor market was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic but the data came in better than expected. According to consensus forecasts, economists were expecting claims to come in around 540,000.

Gold prices are seeing little rection to the latest labor market data, falling slightly from session highs. June gold futures last traded at $1,793 an ounce, up 0.49% 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 – fell to 560,000, a decrease of 61,000 from the previous week.

“This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500,” the report said.

Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were relatively unchanged, holding around 3.67 million during the week ending April 24, increase by 37,000 from the previous week.

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