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US Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending on May 3 surprised with a leap to 231,000, triggering concerns of weakness in the country’s labor market and hurting the US Dollar (USD). Stocks and Gold advanced on hopes that the Federal Reserve (Fed) would cut interest rates earlier than expected. In the release for the week ending May 10, investors want to see if the previous report was a one-off or a potential beginning of a downturn. Economists are expecting claims to come in at 220,000.

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Why US Unemployment Claims matter for markets

The weekly release of US Unemployment Claims (also called initial jobless claims or jobless claims) provides an early indication of changes in labor market conditions. The Fed aims for price stability and full employment, and is attentive to any developments, making the publication significant for markets. A larger-than-expected number indicates weakness in the US labor market, and is generally negative for the US Dollar. On the contrary, a decreasing number should be taken as bullish for the USD.

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