Gold for February delivery increased $22.70 to settle at $1,405.60 per troy ounce just before 2 p.m. on the Comex in New York. That 1.6 percent increase was the precious metal's largest gain since November 4. March-delivery silver increased $1.068, a 3.7 percent jump, to $30.323 per troy ounce and may touch $40 per troy ounce next year, according to a Bloomberg survey.
"There was movement in the European currencies," Frank McGhee, head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services in Chicago, told Bloomberg. "It's a flight-to-quality into the dollar and the metals."
March-delivery palladium climbed 2.6 percent, a $20.10 boost to $787.20 per troy ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange while April-delivery platinum increased $16.20 to $1,757.20 per troy ounce, a 0.9 increased.
One report indicated economic expansion in France slowed down more than was predicted for the third quarter.
"Europe's debt problems will keep a floor under gold prices," said Matt Zeman, a metals trader at LaSalle Futures Group in Chicago.
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