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U.S. weekly jobless claims fall to 205K, remain near a three-month low

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(Kitco News) - The U.S. labor market continues to remain robust as fewer workers than expected applied for first-time unemployment benefits last week.

Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 205,000, down from the previous week's revised estimate of 206,000 claims.

The latest labor market data beat expectations. According to consensus forecasts, economists were expecting to see jobless claims rise at a faster pace to 216,000.

The gold market is not seeing much reaction to the healthy labor market data as investors focus on cooling inflation. Gold prices are seeing solid gains Thursday. February gold futures last traded at $1,898.50 an ounce, up 1% 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 – fell slightly to 212,500, down by 1,750 claims from the previous week's revised average.

Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1.634 million during the week ending Dec. 31, falling by 63,000 from the previous week's revised level.

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