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 0.3 percent to $1,236.30 an ounce at 10:47 a.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 percent to $17.055 an ounce. The price reached $17.135, the highest since Dec. 12. Aggregate trading was 28 percent more than the 100-day average for this time, while gold climbed 15 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“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.
Platinum futures on the New York Mercantile exchange headed for the fourth straight gain, the longest rally since Oct. 9. Palladium also climbed for the fourth consecutive session, the longest run since Oct. 29.
The gold-platinum ratio rose as much as 0.7 percent to 1.0002, the highest since Dec. 19, according to Bloomberg generic prices.