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Dollar up from 8-month low but shutdown and debt limit loom

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The dollar rose for the first time in six sessions against a basket of currencies on Friday but was still within striking distance of a recent eight-month low as the U.S. government closure and fears about a debt default kept investors cautious.

House Republicans met to plan their next move on the fourth day of a U.S. government shutdown that many fear will drag on until bickering Washington politicians reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, last traded up 0.5 percent at 80.145, rebounding from Thursday's eight-month low of 79.627. The index lost 0.17 percent on the week, its fourth straight week with a loss. The euro, which traded weaker, dominates the composition of the index.

The euro fell 0.5 percent to $1.3546, off Thursday's eight-month high of 1.3645. Still, for the week the euro gained 0.23 percent on the greenback.

The greenback's gains were pronounced against the Swiss franc, rebounding from a 1-1/2-year low reached the previous day. The Swissie was weighed by news that Switzerland's financial markets regulator is investigating several Swiss banks in connection with possible manipulation of foreign exchange rates.

The dollar rose 0.95 percent to 0.9074 francs.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan kept rates on hold, as was widely expected. The BOJ voted unanimously to maintain its pledge of increasing base money, or cash and deposits at the central bank, at an annual pace of 60 trillion ($617 billion) to 70 trillion yen.

The dollar gained 0.2 percent against the yen at 97.41 yen, according to Reuters data.

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