Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose more than expected last week, though they remained in territory consistent 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 October 15 increased by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 260,000 from the previous week's total of 247,000, an upward revision from the initial 246,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 4,000 to 250,000 last week.
First-time jobless claims below the 300,000-level are usually associated with a firming labor market.
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended October 8 rose to 2.057 million from a revised 2.050 million (initially 2.046 million) in the preceding week.
Analysts had expected continuing claims to rise to 2.050 million.
The four-week moving average was 251,750, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week's 249,500 (which was revised from the original 249,250).
The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.
Immediately after the report, which was released simultaneously with the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing index and while European Central Bank president Mario Draghi gave a press conference on the euro zone's monetary policy decision,
EUR/USD was trading at 1.0983 from around 1.0979 ahead of the release of the data, GBP/USD was at 1.2262 from 1.2256 earlier, while USD/JPY traded at 103.60 compared to 103.58 before the release.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 97.91, compared to 97.90 ahead of the report.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat open. The Dow futures inched down 13 points, or 0.07%, the S&P 500 futures slipped 2 points, or 0.11%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 3 points, or 0.05%.
Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,272.75 a troy ounce, compared to $1,271.25 ahead of the data, while U.S. crude oil traded at $51.06 a barrel from $51.01 earlier.
Investing.com offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
Read more News on Investing.com and download the new Investing.com apps for Android and iOS! http://glocdn.investing.com/news/LYNXMPEB150M9_M.jpg