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U.S. weekly jobless claims rise by 7k to 198,000, gold price climbs

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(Kitco News) The initial weekly jobless claims rose by 7,000 to 198,000 the week to Saturday, surprising the markets with a bigger-than-expected increase.

Economists’ consensus calls projected the initial claims to advance to 196,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 191,000.

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 – climbed by 2,000 to 198,250. The previous week's four-week moving average was unrevised at 196,250, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday.

Continuing jobless claims, representing the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1,689,000 during the week ending March 18, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1,685,000. The previous week's level was revised down by 9,000.

The four-week moving average was at 1,691,750, an increase of 10,000. And the previous week's four-week moving average was revised down by 2,250 to 1,681,750.

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 ticked up to daily highs and then gave up some of those gains, with June Comex gold futures last trading at $1,990.60 an ounce, up 0.31% on the day.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

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