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Gold prices off session highs as U.S. weekly jobless claims falls to 191K

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(Kitco News) - The gold market remains in positive territory but has fallen from its session highs following stronger-than-expected labor market data as the number of American workers applying for first-time unemployment benefits remains near its lowest level in a month.

Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said weekly jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 191,000, down from the previous week's unrevised estimate of 192,000 claims.

The latest labor market data beat expectations as economists were looking for claims to remain to rise to 198,000.

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 250 claims to 196,250, up from the previous week's unrevised average of 196,500.

Continuing jobless claims, representing the number of people already receiving benefits, were at s 1.694 million during the week ending March 11, rising by 14,000 from the previous week's revised level.

Investors remain laser focused on the U.S. labor market, which has remained persistently strong as recession risks have risen.

Wednesday, after raising interest rates by 25 basis points, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, said that the labor market remains too tight, which could continue to support higher inflation.

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