Gold futures rose to an 11-week high on speculation that Greece will abandon the euro, boosting the precious metal’s appeal as a haven asset. Silver climbed to a one-month high.
Opinion polls showed Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samara hasn’t narrowed the lead by his top opponent from the Syriza party, boosting concerns that a change in political leadership will spur an exit from the euro area. Gold climbed for the third straight session.
“There’s still some real concern about Greece, and that’s some of the wind behind gold’s move up,” Phil Streible, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “People think the euro zone may be in trouble in the coming weeks, and Greece is just going to be the tip of the iceberg.”
Gold futures for February delivery climbed 0.1 percent to settle at $1,234.40 an ounce at 1:45 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the metal reached $1,244.50, the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 23.
Silver futures for March delivery gained 3.6 percent to $17.156 an ounce. The price reached $17.215, the highest since Dec. 12. Aggregate trading was 30 percent more than the 100-day average for this time, while gold climbed 22 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Through yesterday, silver slid 2.9 percent since the end of the third quarter, while gold advanced 1.7 percent.
“The weakness in Europe and China had kept the industrial demand of silver from rallying with gold,” George Gero, a precious-metal strategist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, said in a telephone interview. Silver prices are now rallying to catch up with gold’s gains, Gero said.
Platinum futures for April delivery added 0.5 percent to $1,247.80 on the New York Mercantile exchange, a fourth straight gain and the longest rally since Oct. 9. Palladium also climbed for the fourth consecutive session, increasing 0.2 percent to $815.70 an ounce.
The gold-platinum ratio rose as much as 0.7 percent to 1.0002, the highest since Dec. 19, according to Bloomberg generic prices.