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Gold prices holding near two-month high following 55K jump in weekly jobless claims

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(Kitco News) - The gold market continues to hold its breakout gains near a two-month high as the U.S. labor market loses more momentum after more workers than expected applied for first-time unemployment benefits.

Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims incrase by 55,000 to 286,000, up from the previous week's revised estimate of 230,000 claims.

The latest labor market data missed expectations. According to consensus forecasts, economists were expecting to see jobless claims hold steady around 227,000

The gold market is seeing a small boost following the latest labor market data. Spot gold futures last traded at $1,844.20 an ounce, up 0.2% 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 231,000, up by 20,000 claims from the previous week.

Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1.635 million during the week ending Jan. 8, rising by 84,000 from the previous week's revised level.

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