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Canadian dollar down as U.S. government shutdown enters fourth day

Canadian Press, The Canadian Press
0 Comments| October 4, 2013

(The Canadian Press) TORONTO – The Canadian dollar was slightly lower Friday morning as traders looked for positive developments in the U.S. budget impasse and higher commodity prices.

The loonie shed 0.06 of a cent to 96.78 cents US while the U.S. government entered a fourth day of a partial shutdown because of wrangling over government funding.

Investors hoped the shutdown would be short lived.

But concerns have risen as Republicans in the House of Representatives continue to insist on changes to so-called Obamacare while the president refuses to consider any deal linking his signature health care legislation to routine legislation needed to fund the government.

Investors worry the shutdown will carry on and collide head-on with an Oct. 17 deadline where lawmakers have to agree on an increase to the country's debt ceiling or the world's largest economy may default on its debt payments.

While anxiety levels have risen, traders have avoided drastic moves.

``Today markets are relatively quiet shifting in different directions and lacking a clear theme,'' observed Scotia Capital chief currency strategist Camilla Sutton.

``The U.S. government shutdown and looming October 17th debt ceiling deadline are clear focuses but so far the market has not panicked over the risk.''

The U.S. government's employment report for September was supposed to be released Friday, but the publication of the data has been postponed because of the government shutdown.

The November crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 52 cents to US$103.83 a barrel.

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