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U.S. labor market tightening

The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits is at a near 49-year low.

Other data showed import prices dropping by the most in more than three years.

Tightening labor market conditions bolster expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its Dec. 18-19 policy meeting. With inflation likely to remain tame through the first half of 2019, economists see fewer rate hikes next year.

The Fed has increased borrowing costs three times this year.

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