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Gold prices steady after U.S. weekly jobless claims rise by 3K

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(Kitco News) - The U.S. labor market improved slightly last week as the number of workers applying for first-time unemployment benefits came in below market expectations.

Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims rose by 3,000 to 220,000 during the week ending Sept. 8, up from the previous week's estimate of 217,000 claims, which was revised upward from the initial 216,000 print.

The latest labor market data was better than expectations. According to consensus forecasts, economists were expecting to see jobless claims rise to 225,000.

The gold market sold off slightly following the better-than-expected employment data. Spot gold fell from $1,907.65 an ounce just before the release to $1902.29 in the minutes afterward, and it continues to trade just above $1902 at the time of writing.

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 224,500, a decrease of 5,000 claims from the previous week's revised average of 229,500.

Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1.688 million during the week ending Sept. 1, rising by 4,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1.684 million.

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