Wall St set for muted start as focus turns to payrolls data

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By Amruta Khandekar and Shristi Achar A (Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes were set to open subdued on Thursday after a sharp rise in weekly jobless claims eased some rate-hike concerns ahead of a key jobs report that could determine the Fed’s policy path. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000 for the week ended March 4, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 195,000 claims for the latest week. Traders reduced bets of a 50-basis-point rate hike at the Fed’s next meeting after the data, with the terminal…

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