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U.S. weekly jobless claims rise to five-month high

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(Kitco News) - The U.S. labor market continues to lose momentum as more America workers applied for first-time unemployment benefits than expected, hitting its highest level since February.

Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims fell rose by 9,000 to 244,000, up from the previous week's revised estimate of 235,000 claims.

The latest labor market data missed expectations. According to consensus forecasts, economists were expecting to see jobless claims hold steady around 235,000.

The gold market is not seeing much reaction to the latest labor market data. August gold futures last traded at $1,708.40, down 1.5% 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 235,750, up by 3,250 claims from the previous week's revised average.

While initial claims remain volatile, some economists are paying closer attention to continuing claims, which has seen a steady decline in recent weeks.

Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1.331 million during the week ending July 2, falling by 41,000 from the previous week's revised level.

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