The U.S. Labor Department released its jobless claims figures on Thursday. The number of initial jobless claims in the week ending July 04 in the U.S. increased by 15,000 to 297,000 from 282,000 in the previous week. The previous week's reading was revised down from 271,000.
Analysts had expected the number of initial jobless claims to be 275,000.
Jobless claims remained below 300,000 the 18th straight week. This threshold is associated with the strengthening of the labour market.
Continuing jobless claims rose by 69,000 to 2,334,000 in the week ended June 27.