- The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell more than expected, easing concerns over the strength of the 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 May 24 decreased by 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 300,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 327,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 9,000 to 318,000 last week.

Continuing jobless claims in the week ended May 17 fell to 2.631 million from 2.648 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to rise to 2.650 million.

The four-week moving average was 311,500, a decrease of 11,250 from the previous week’s total of 322,750. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.

Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar added to losses against the euro, with EUR/USD rising 0.22% to trade at 1.3622, compared to 1.3616 ahead of the data.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open. The Dow 30 pointed to a gain of 0.15%, the S&P 500 indicated a rise of 0.15%, while the Nasdaq 100 signaled a gain of 0.2%.

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