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(Wallace Refiners) – Improving U.S. labor market conditions, as fewer American workers apply for first-time unemployment benefits, is helping to weigh down gold prices.
For the second consecutive week the U.S. labor market saw weekly jobless claims rise below 500,000, seeing the lowest pace of growth since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thursday the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims fell by 43,000 to 473,000, down from the previous week’s upwardly revised estimate of 507,000 claims.
This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000,” the report said.
The latest labor market data was stronger than expected as consensus forecasts looking for claims to fall to around 487,000.
Momentum in the U.S. labor market is helping to take its toll on the gold market as prices can’t find any bullish traction even in an environment of rising price pressures. June gold futures last traded at $1,817.30 an ounce, down 0.30% 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 534,000, down by 28,250 claims from the previous week.
“This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500,” the report said.
Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 3.66 million during the week ending May 1, down by 45,000 from the previous week.
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