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Gold price back above $1,700 as U.S. Weekly jobless claims rises to 250K

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(Kitco News) - Falling momentum in the U.S. labor market is creating further selling pressure on the U.S. dollar, which is pushing gold prices into neutral territory.

Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims rose 7,000 to 251,000, up from the previous week's unrevised estimate of 244,000 claims.

The latest labor market data missed expectations. According to consensus forecasts, economists were expecting to see jobless claims fall to around 240,000. This is the third week initial jobless claims has missed expectations. Claims have risen higher for seven consecutive weeks.

Gold market continues to push higher following the disappointing employment data. August gold futures last traded at $1,701 an ounce, roughly neutral 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 240,500, up by 4,500 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 1.384 million during the week ending July 9, rising by 51,000 from the previous week's revised level.

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