By Kitco News
Thursday December 29, 2016 08:33
(Kitco News) - Gold prices held their gains after the Labor Department reported that initial weekly U.S. jobless claims fell by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 in the week to Saturday.
Consensus expectations compiled by various news organizations called for initial claims to be around 262,000 to 270,000. The government left the prior week’s tally unrevised at the previously reported 275,000.
There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims, the Labor Department said. This marks 95 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970.
As of 8:39 a.m. EST, Comex February gold was trading up $6 for the day to $1,146.90 an ounce. Four minutes ahead of the report, the metal was at $1,146.10.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average for new claims – often viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it smoothens out week-to-week volatility – was down by 750 claims to 263,000.
Continuing jobless claims, the number of people already receiving benefits and reported with a one-week delay, increased by 63,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2,102,000 during the week ending Dec. 17, the government said. The four-week moving average rose by 4,500 to 2,042,250.
Traders monitor jobs data closely to gauge how aggressively the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee alters monetary policy.