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By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits tumbled last week to its lowest level in nearly 15 years, adding to bullish signals on the labor market. The U.S. remains an oasis of prosperity in the world and will continue to do so," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 for the week ended Jan. 24, the lowest since April 2000, the Labor Department said. The drop exceeded economists' expectations for a fall to only 300,000, but last week also included the Martin Luther King holiday, which means fewer claims were likely processed.