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U.S. weekly jobless claims drop to 192,000, gold price steady

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(Kitco News) The initial weekly jobless claims fell by 20,000 to 192,000 in the week to Saturday, surprising the markets with a bigger-than-expected drop.

Economists’ consensus calls projected the initial claims to decline to 205,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 212,000.

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 – fell by 750 to 196,500. The previous week’s four-week moving average was revised up by 250 to 197,250, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday.

Continuing jobless claims, representing the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1,684,000 during the week ending March 4, a decrease of 29,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1,713,000. The previous week's level was revised down by 5,000.

The four-week moving average dropped to 1,676,500, a decrease of 1,750. And the previous week's four-week moving average was revised down by 1,250 to 1,678,250.

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 ticked down from daily highs, but remained steady. April Comex gold futures were last trading at $1,931.80 an ounce, flat on the day.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

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