The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell less than expected, but remained in territory consistent with a strengthening labor market, official data showed on Thursday.
The number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 3 decreased by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 245,000 from the previous week's total of 255,000, the U.S. Department of Labor said.
Analysts expected jobless claims to fall by 15,000 to 240,000 last week.
The four-week moving average was 242,000, up 2,250 from the previous week. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended May 27 dipped to 1.917 million from 1.9190 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to inch up to 1.920 million.
USD/JPY was at 110.16 from around 110.17 ahead of the release of the data, EUR/USD was trading at 1.1235 from around 1.1231 earlier, while GBP/USD was at 1.2937 from 1.2938.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 96.81, compared to 96.90 ahead of the report.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a muted open. The blue-chip Dow futures rose 9 points, the S&P 500 futures added 2 points while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 15 points.
Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,285.97 a troy ounce, compared to $1,285.16 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded at $45.31 a barrel from $45.45 earlier.