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The Globe and Mail

Loonie ends unchanged as traders eye U.S. budget battle

Canadian dollars.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

The Canadian dollar closed unchanged Thursday as traders kept an eye on an acrimonious budget battle in Washington that could result in a government shutdown.

The loonie closed at 96.96 cents (U.S.) as two financial deadlines for the U.S. government loom.

Congress needs to pass a funding bill to keep the federal government operating after Oct. 1, when its new fiscal year starts. And the country's borrowing limit needs to be raised before Oct. 17.

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Markets are nervous as investors remember the summer of 2011 when a similar situation roiled markets at a time when Europe's debt crisis was flaring, and prompted Standard & Poor's to strip the U.S. of its triple-A credit rating.

Commodity prices were mixed with the November contract on the New York mercantile Exchange up 37 cents to $103.03 a barrel.

December copper gained 3 cents to $3.31 a pound. But gold bullion prices lost early momentum and the December contract in New York fell $12.10 to $1,324.10 an ounce.

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