Gold and silver futures rose to three-week high weeks after Europe™s economic concerns mounted, spurring demand for the precious metals as a haven.

A gauge of euro-area services and manufacturing signaled growth slowed in the final quarter of 2014, and the euro extended losses versus the dollar amid Greek opposition to austerity measures that may prompt the country™s exit from the currency bloc. Money managers raised bullish wagers on gold for the first time in three weeks, U.S. government data showed.

The metal has climbed 7.9 percent from a four-year low in November on political turmoil in Greece and speculation that governments from Europe to China will bolster economic stimulus. Yesterday the U.S. Mint sold 42,000 ounces of gold coins, compared with 18,000 ounces in all of December.

Gold futures for February delivery climbed 1.3 percent to settle at $1,219.40 an ounce at 1:54 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $1,223.30, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 16. The metal rose for the third straight session, the longest rally since Dec. 19. Aggregate trading was 36 percent more than the 100-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Source: Bloomberg