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US weekly unemployment claims are at  367K.

Early expectations stood on 373K.  The initial report for last week’s numbers  stood on 377K  and was now revised to 379K. The  gradual  positive trend continues. The four week moving average slid from 377,750 to 375,750. It will likely slide more when the 402K number will drop off the average next week.

EUR/USD marginally rises after this data was released. USD/JPY hardly moves.

Also in the US, Non-Farm Productivity rose by 0.7%, less than 1% that was expected. This is actually positive as less productivity means higher costs and is supportive for the dollar.  Unit Labor Costs rose by 1.2%, higher than 0.9% predicted. Both figures are preliminary and relate to Q4 2011.

Two weeks ago, jobless claims dropped to the low level of 356K, falling sharply from 402K in the previous week.

All in all, the trend of falling claims continues, and this is good news. The drop in claims is also well reflected in the dropping unemployment rate, which stood on 8.5% in December. No change is expected in January’s numbers due tomorrow.

ADP’s report for private sector jobs  was a tad short of expectations. It showed a gain of 170K in January. Nevertheless, the general trend is positive. Another gain in jobs is expected in the all-important Non-Farm Payrolls.

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