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U.S. jobless claims fall by 11,000 to 271,000 last week

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. fell more than expected last week, remaining in territory usually associated with a firming 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 December 11 decreased by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 271,000 from the previous week's total of 282,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to fall by 7,000 to 275,000 last week.

First-time jobless claims have held below the 300,000-level for 40 consecutive weeks, which is usually associated with a firming labor market.

Continuing jobless claims in the week ended December 4 dipped to 2.238 million from 2.245 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to decline to 2.220 million.

The four-week moving average was 270,500, a decrease of 250 from the previous week's 270,750. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.

EUR/USD was trading at 1.0841 from around 1.0836 ahead of the release of the data, GBP/USD was at 1.4918 from 1.4909 earlier, while USD/JPY was at 122.48 from 122.55 earlier.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 98.97, compared to 99.02 ahead of the report.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open. The Dow futures pointed to a gain of 38 points, or 0.23%, the S&P 500 futures indicated a rise 4 points, or 0.15%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures increased 18 points, or 0.38%.

Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,061.20 a troy ounce, compared to $1,061.50 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded at $35.33 a barrel from $35.27 earlier.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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