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Gold prices rise after U.S. weekly jobless claims spike to 231K

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(Kitco News) - The gold market is rallying after the latest employment data showed surprisingly elevated weakness in the U.S. labor market.

On Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said weekly jobless claims rose by 13,000 to 231,000, up from the previous week's downwardly revised estimate of 218,000 claims.

The latest labor market data was well above expectations, as consensus estimates called for a 220,000 print. Initial unemployment claims posted their highest reading since late August.

The gold market rallied on the weaker than expected employment data, with spot gold rising from $1965.53 in the minutes before the release to session highs above $1972 per ounce immediately afterward. The Federal Reserve has said that it needs to see some weakness in the U.S. labor market before it starts looking at potential rate cuts.

Meanwhile, 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 to 220,250, an increase of 7,750 claims from the previous week's revised average of 212,500.

The number of people still receiving benefits also continues to rise, indicating that more workers are finding it difficult to find a new job.

Continuing jobless claims, representing the number of people already receiving benefits, were 1.865 million during the week ending Nov. 4, much higher than the previous week's revised level of 1.833 million and also higher than the expected level of 1.847 million.

“This is the highest level for insured unemployment since November 27, 2021 when it was 1,964,000,” the report said.

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