Gold is closing higher for a fourth day in a row after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that the Fed would continue its easy-money policies for some time.
The August contract for gold rose $32.50, or 2.6 percent, to $1,279.90 an ounce. Gold has risen 5.5 percent this week.
Gold bulls welcomed remarks from Bernanke late Wednesday indicating that the Fed was not about to pull back on its support for the U.S. economy any time soon. The Fed's policies of keeping interest rates low and buying bonds have supported gold prices.
September silver rose 79.1 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $19.956 an ounce.
Energy prices closed mostly lower. U.S. benchmark crude fell $1.61 to close at $104.91 a barrel.
Wheat, corn and soybean prices rose.