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U.S. weekly jobless claims drop by 3k to 192,000, gold price hits daily lows

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(Kitco News) The initial weekly jobless claims decreased by 3,000 to 192,000 in the week to Saturday, surprising the markets with another slight drop.

Economists’ consensus calls projected the initial claims to rise to 200,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 195,000.

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 by 1,500 to 191,250. The previous week’s four-week moving average was revised up by 250 to 189,750, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday.

Continuing jobless claims, representing the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1,654,000 during the week ending February 11, a decrease of 37,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1,691,000. The previous week's level was revised down by 5,000.

The four-week moving average dropped to 1,668,750, a decrease of 3,000. And the previous week's four-week moving average was revised down by 1,250 to 1,671,750.

Traders watch the jobless claims data very closely to gauge its impact on the Federal Reserve's employment side of the monetary policy mandate.

Gold fell to seven-week lows after the data release. The market was also digesting the U.S. Q4 GDP report, which showed higher-than-expected inflationary pressures. April Comex gold futures were last trading at $1,828.00 an ounce, down $13.20 on the day.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

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