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Gold prices holding gains as U.S. weekly jobless claims falls further to 183K

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(Kitco News) - Strong momentum in the labor market is not having much impact on gold as prices hold near fresh nine-month highs.

Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims fell by 3,000 to 183,000, down from the previous week's unrevised estimate of 186,000 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 196,000.

The latest economic data is not having much impact on precious metals as the gold market is seeing solid bullish momentum following the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision Wednesday.

Although the Fed said it is committed to maintaining its aggressively restrictive monetary policy, central bank head, Jerome Powell said that signs of disinflation are start to emerge. Markets have taken these comments to mean the U.S. central bank remains on track to end its tightening cycle in March.

April gold futures last traded at $1,964.80 an ounce, well above 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 to 191,750, down by 5,750 claims from the previous week's revised average.

Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1.655 million during the week ending Jan. 21, falling by 11,000 from the previous week's revised level.

Economists are watching the labor market closely as the Federal Reserve has said they are looking cooling in the jobs market as a sign that inflation pressures are under control.

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