Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose more than expected, dampening optimism over the strength of the labor 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 August 9 increased by 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 311,000 from the previous week's revised total of 290,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 5,000 to 295,000 last week.
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended August 2 rose to 2.544 million from 2.519 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to fall to 2.500 million.
The four-week moving average was 295,750, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's total of 293,750. 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 added to losses against the euro, with EUR/USD rising 0.13% to trade at 1.3381, compared to 1.3374 ahead of the data.
Meanwhile, the outlook for U.S. equity markets was modestly higher. The Dow indicated a gain of 0.1%, the S&P 500 pointed to a rise of 0.1%, while the Nasdaq 100 indicated an increase of 0.1%.
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