U.S. initial jobless claims fall by 12,000 to 350,000 last week

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Investing.com - " The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. fell less-than-expected last week, underlining concerns over the U.S. jobs market, official data showed on Thursday.

In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending October 18 declined by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000.

Jobless claims for the preceding week were revised up to a gain of 362,000 from a previously reported increase of 358,000.

Analysts had expected U.S. jobless claims to fall by 22,000 to 340,000 last week.

Continuing jobless claims in the week ended October 11 fell to 2.874 million. Analysts had expected continuing claims to decline to 2.875 million from last week's revised figure of 2.882 million.

The four-week moving average was 348,250, an increase of 10,750 from the previous week's average of 337,500.

The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.

Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar held on to gains against the euro, with EUR/USD rising 0.23% to trade at 1.3809.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a gain of 0.4%, S&P 500 futures indicated a rise of 0.3%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures signaled a 0.2% increase.

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