The U.S. Labor Department released its jobless claims figures on Thursday. The number of initial jobless claims in the week ending March 12 in the U.S. increased by 7,000 to 265,000 from 258,000 in the previous week. The previous week's figure was revised down from 259,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise to 268,000.
Jobless claims remained below 300,000 the 54th straight week. This threshold is associated with the strengthening of the labour market.
Continuing jobless claims increased by 8,000 to 2,235,000 in the week ended March 05.