A report by the US Labor Department released today showed that filing for unemployment benefits in the week ending January 28, dropped more than expected, giving optimism that the labor market is improving.
Jobless claims decreased by 12,000 to bring the official seasonally adjusted number of applications to a four-year low of 367,000.
This beat expectations for a 370,000 drop from the previous week’s 379,000.
The jobless claims report today will be closely watched more than usual since it was released a day before the key US Non-farm payrolls report and unemployment rate for January.
The forecast is for an additional 150,000 jobs in January, less than previous, and for the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 8.5 percent.
The data helped improve market sentiment, helping the euro turn back to positive territory. Also US equity markets advanced into the opening of the New York trading session.