(Kitco News) - Gold prices are trading near the middle of their daily range after the number of American workers applying for first-time unemployment benefits last week came in well below expectations.
On Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims decreased by 16,000 to 187,000 during the week ending Jan. 13, down from the previous week's revised estimate of 203,000 claims.
The number was significantly lower than the consensus forecast, as economists were expecting to see jobless claims rise to 207,000.
Spot gold dipped from $2,011.75 just before the release to $2,010.62 immediately afterward, but is still off session lows of $2,005.83, and is up 0.18% on the day 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 – also dipped to 203,250, down from the previous week's revised average of 208,000.
Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1.806 million during the week ending Jan. 6, 26,000 below the previous week's revised level of 1.832 million, and also below the expected 1.845 million.