Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. fell in line with expectations last week, remaining in territory consistent with a strengthening 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 September 5 decreased by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 275,000 from the previous week's total of 281,000.
First-time jobless claims have held below the 300,000-level for 27 consecutive weeks, which is usually associated with a firming labor market.
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended August 29 rose to 2.260 million from 2.259 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to decline to 2.250 million.
The four-week moving average was 275,750, an increase of 500 from the previous week's total of 275,250. 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 1.1193 from around 1.1192 ahead of the release of the data, GBP/USD was at 1.5399 from 1.5396 earlier, while USD/JPY was at 120.88 from 120.86 earlier.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 96.05, compared to 96.05 ahead of the report.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open. The Dow futures pointed to a drop of 0.4%, the S&P 500 futures shed 0.35%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.3%.
Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,108.10 a troy ounce, compared to $1,108.30 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded at $44.33 a barrel from $44.42 earlier.
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