New jobless claims fall in US

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, which eased fears of a worsening jobs market after a surprise stumble in job growth in March.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, unwinding a jump the week before that appeared related to difficulties adjusting the data for seasonal variations. That was the largest weekly drop since mid-November. The US economy had experienced relatively strong job gains since October. Economists say there is little evidence so far to suggest that the $85bn (£55bn) government spending cuts are hurting the job market.