09/27/2013 08:44 EDT | Updated 11/27/2013 05:12 EST

Loonie rises, traders focus on Washington and possible government shutdown

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar closed higher Friday amid uncertainty caused by political gridlock in Washington that threatened to shut down the U.S. government over a budget impasse.

The commodity-sensitive loonie was up 0.10 of a cent to 97.06 cents US as prices for gold and copper advanced.

There was skepticism that Congress can pass a funding bill to keep the federal government operating after Oct. 1, when the government's new fiscal year starts. Also, the U.S. borrowing limit needs to be raised before Oct. 17.

Conservative Republicans are insisting that the shutdown bill and a separate debt limit measure present an opportunity to demolish the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, and slash spending.

Commodity prices were mixed with the November crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange down 16 cents to US$102.87 a barrel.

Metal prices advanced with December copper ahead two cents to US$3.33 a pound.

December bullion was up $15.10 to US$1,339.20.

Investors also digested reports showing higher consumer spending and income growth during August — and other data showing slowing consumer confidence.

The U.S. Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.3 per cent in August. That’s up from a 0.2 per cent gain in July. Income rose 0.4 per cent in August, the best gain since February and up from a 0.2 per cent July increase.

The spending and income data is closely watched because consumer spending drives 70 per cent of U.S. economic activity.

The final read of the September University of Michigan's consumer confidence index came in at 77.5, down from 82.1 in August.