- The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose in line with expectations, 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 January 18 increased by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 325,000.

Continuing jobless claims in the week ended January 11 rose to 3.056 million from 3.022 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to fall to 2.930 million.

The four-week moving average was 331,500, a decrease of 3,750 from the previous week''s average of 335,250. 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 0.72% to trade at 1.3644, compared to 1.3634 ahead of the data.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a loss of 0.45% at the open, S&P 500 futures dipped 0.4%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a downtick of 0.25% at the open.

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