(Kitco News) – A sharp drop in the number of American workers filing for weekly unemployment benefits is helping to weigh down gold prices.
Thursday the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims fell by 111,000 to 730,000, down from the previous week’s upwardly revised estimate of 861,000 claims.
The latest labor market data significantly economists’ estimates as consensus forecasts called for initial claims to be round 828,000.
The gold market is seeing some renewed selling pressure, falling to session lows, following latest economic report. April gold futures last traded at $1,778.30 an ounce, down 1% 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 807,000, down by 20,500 claims from the previous week.
Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 4.419 million during the week ending Feb. 13, down by 101,000 from the previous week.
This is the lowest increase in initial jobless claims since the start of the month. However, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in his two-days of testimony before Congress that the economy still has a long way to go before it reaches full employment.
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