For the week ending 18th of June, 259 000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits – 18 000 less than during the previous week.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch predicted that the figure would be 270 000.
Applications are kept below 300 000 for already 68 consecutive weeks, the longest period since 1973.
The monthly average, which smooths out fluctuations in weekly data and gives a better notion about the main trends in the labor market, declined by 2 250 to 267 000.
Repeated applications, reflecting the number of those who already receive benefits, fell to 2.14 million from 2.16 million.
National economic activity index fell sharply
National economic activity index fell unexpectedly in May, due to the downturn in the manufacturing sector.
However, recruitment and consumer spending also declined, as was noted in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, once again emphasizing the uncertainty of the economic environment.
National activity index from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago fell to -0.51 in May from 0.05 in April. All subcategories of index showed a decline.
But stocks continued growth, focusing on the referendum, which takes place today in the UK.
This index is a weighted average of 85 different economic indicators.
However, the labor market reports different signals. Weekly jobless claims reached 259 000 and are held below the 300 000 for already 68 weeks in a row.
The Fed chief Janet Yellen, speaking before Congress, said she expects the signs of wage growth.
Gold is losing its popularity in favor of risky assets
Gold futures were creeping down already for the 5th consecutive session, trading at 2-week lows, as global markets await the outcome of the British referendum.
Gold of August delivery sank by $ 8.10, or 0.6%, to $ 1 261.80 per ounce, while golden SPDR Gold Trust ETF lost 0.2%.
Pound peaked since the beginning of the year against the dollar, the euro also strengthened, and the yen – slipped. Risky assets are still in demand, reducing interest in safe-haven currencies such as the yen, as well as the valuable metals.
Last poll conducted by Ipsos Mori found that 52% of respondents were in favor of continued membership in the EU, against 48% who supported Brexit.
ICE dollar index dipped by 0.4%. Gold and the dollar are in an inverse relationship, but at the time of volatility they do not always follow this pattern.
“In general, the price of gold will react asymmetrically to the outcome of the referendum”, – analysts at Commerzbank said.
“In our opinion, the preservation of EU membership has already been priced in, so the downside risk for gold is limited. Otherwise, chaos will begin at the markets, which will play into the hands of metal”, – they continue.
Silver of July delivery lost 3 cents to $ 17.29 per ounce, while silver iShares Silver Trust – 0.2%, in trading before the opening session.