CHICAGO, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose Friday as U.S. lawmakers struggled to pass a federal budget to avert a government shutdown days away.
The most active gold contract for December delivery gained 15.1 U.S. dollars, or 1.14 percent, to settle at 1,339.2 dollars per ounce.
Gold ended this week with a small gain of 0.5 percent.
As the budget deadline falls on Tuesday and the debt ceiling negotiations should come to an end on Oct. 17, Democrats and Republicans at Congress are still in a heated debate over the looming problems, pushing jittery investors to buy safe-haven gold.
A stronger support for gold came from remarks by Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans, who indicated Friday that the Federal Reserve's scale-down on bond purchase could be delayed into 2014.
Dollar's going strong also lent a support. Dollar index, a gauge of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, fell to 80.273 Friday from 80.535 late Thursday.
Economic data released Friday produced a mixed influence on gold.
The final September reading for the University of Michigan- Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index fell to 77.5 from 82.1 in August; while the Commerce Department said that the consumer spending rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in August, marking the third-fastest increase of the year.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch Friday lowered its 2014 forecast for gold by 17.2 percent to 1,294 dollars an ounce.
Silver for December delivery rose 6.5 cents, or 0.3 percent, to close at 21.831 dollars per ounce. Platinum for January delivery climbed 4.5 dollars, or 0.32 percent, to close at 1,419.2 dollars per ounce.