New applicants for unemployment aid in the US rose above 200,000 for the first time in eight weeks, running slightly counter to a recent string of strong labour market data.
There were 211,000 initial jobless claims in the week ended March 4, up from 190,000 a week earlier, according to US labour department data released Thursday. Economists had forecast 195,000 claims.
Traders now turn their attention to non-farm payrolls data for February, on Friday. The previous report prompted a reassessment of how aggressively the Federal Reserve might need to be to raise interest rates to rein in inflation.
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