- 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 June 14 declined by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 318,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 4,000 to 314,000 last week.

Continuing jobless claims in the week ended June 7 fell to 2.561 million from 2.615 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to fall to 2.600 million.

The four-week moving average was 311,750, a decrease of 3,750 from the previous week’s total of 315,500. 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 held on to losses against the euro, with EUR/USD rising 0.19% to trade at 1.3621.

Meanwhile, the outlook for U.S. equity markets was steady. The Dow pointed to a loss of 0.05% at the open, the S&P 500 indicated a gain of 0.05%, while the Nasdaq 100 signaled a gain of 0.05%.

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