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Gold price holding steady at $1,800 as US weekly jobless claims rise to 260K

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(Kitco News) - Activity in the U.S. labor market continues to be volatile as the number of American workers applying for first-time unemployment benefits rises in line with expectations.

The gold market continues to test important resistance at $1,800 an ounce following the latest labor market data.

Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims rose by 6,000 to 260,000, up from the previous week's downwardly revised estimate of 254,000 claims.

The latest labor market data was relatively in line with expectations.

The gold market is largely ignoring the latest economic data. December gold futures last traded at $1,801 an ounce, up 1.39% 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 254,750, up by 6,000 claims from the previous week's revised average.

Some economists note that the rise in the four-week moving average does not bode well for future strength in the labor market. Many economists and politicians have said that U.S. robust job growth is one of the main reasons why the U.S. economy isn't in a recession, despite the economy contracting in two consecutive quarters.

Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1.416 million during the week ending July 23, rising by 48,000 from the previous week's revised level.

The latest weekly jobless numbers come as economists and investors eagerly await Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report. Economists expect the U.S. economy created 250,000 jobs in July.

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