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    Jobless Claims Hike, Downward Revision of Worker Productivity Push Precious Metals Higher

    Increased signs of a cooling labor market pushed precious metals higher in Thursday trading as a week of disappointing economic data continued, putting even more pressure on federal monetary officials to address the slide when they meet next week.

    Gold was up nearly $23 at $2,377 per ounce and silver was trading $1.17 higher at around $31 an ounce after data from the U.S. Department of Labor showed an increase last week in the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits.

    In the week ending June 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 229,000, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the data. Economists had expected that jobless claims would come in around 220,000.

    Additionally, revised data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Thursday found that U.S. worker productivity grew less than the federal agency previously estimated in the first quarter. The measure tracking hourly labor output per worker increased by 0.2% in the first quarter, down slightly from last month’s estimate of 0.3%. The new figure was still enough to beat Wall Street estimates of a downward revision to 0.1%.

    With Friday’s expected U.S. jobs report still to come, data released so far this week has already underscored a fragile economy. Earlier reports showed private payrolls added far fewer jobs in May than expected and a decrease in the number of job openings on the last business day of April.

    The health of the U.S. economy will take center stage at next week’s Fed meeting when policymakers could consider the timing of interest rate cuts as investors have long hoped.

    Disclaimer: All Market Updates are provided as a third party analysis and do not necessarily reflect the explicit views of JM Bullion Inc. and should not be construed as financial advice.

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