Gold is regaining some of its appeal to investors as a partial shutdown of the U.S. government enters a second day.
The price of the actively traded December contract for gold jumped $34.60, or 2.7 percent, to settle at $1,320.70 an ounce Wednesday.
Silver also rose sharply. The December contract rose 72.2 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $21.897 an ounce.
Financial markets were edgy Wednesday as traders considered the prospect that political gridlock in Washington could lead to an extended, albeit partial, shutdown of the U.S. government.
Energy prices rose, sending the price of crude oil to its biggest gain in two weeks.
Benchmark oil for November delivery rose $2.06, or 2 percent, to $104.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Crop prices mostly rose.