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U.S. weekly jobless claims fall to 229,000, gold price awaits Fed Chair Powell's day two testimony

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(Kitco News) The initial weekly jobless claims declined by 2,000 to 229,000 in the week to Saturday, slightly disappointing market expectations.

Economists' consensus calls projected for initial claims to come in at 227,000 following the revised level of 231,000 reported in the previous week.

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 – increased to 223,500. Last week's four-week moving average was revised up to 219,000, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday.

Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1,315,000 during the week ending June 11, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 1,310,000.

The four-week moving average dropped to 1,310,000, marking the lowest level since January 3, 1970. And the previous week’s four-week moving average was revised down to 1,317,000.

Traders watch the jobless claims data very closely to gauge its impact on the Federal Reserve’s employment side of the monetary policy mandate.

Gold was largely unchanged following the data release as investors were waiting for the second day of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony before the U.S. Congress to begin at 10 a.m. EST. August Comex gold futures were last trading at $1,833.80, down 0.25% on the day. 

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

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