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Gold prices fall to session lows as U.S. weekly jobless claims fall to March lows

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(Kitco News) -Gold prices are trading at session lows, as tighter labor market conditions has added to the significant selling pressure.

Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims fell by 20,000 to 201,000, down from the previous week's revised estimate of 221,000 claims.

The latest labor market data was significantly stronger than expected. According to consensus forecasts, economists were expecting to see jobless claims rise at a faster pace to hold relatively steady at 224,000.

The gold market was seeing some significant selling pressure ahead of the latest labor market data and has seen further losses in initial reaction. December gold futures last traded at $1,935.50 an ounce, down 1.6% on the day.

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 217,000, a decrease of 7,750 claims from the previous week's revised average.

Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1.662 million during the week ending Sept. 9, falling by 21,000 from the previous week's revised level.

The gold market has been sensitive to U.S. labor market data as it remains a major factor in the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision. Wednesday the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged; however, it maintained a tightening bias.

Powell said that the central bank needs to see further slack in the U.S. labor market before they would be comfortable shifting its current monetary policy position. He added that in the current environment, he expects the central bank to maintain restrictive interest rates for the foreseeable future to bring inflation down to 2%.

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