Gold prices rose Thursday amid widespread uncertainty over whether Greece will leave the Eurozone or remain in the debt-plagued federation.

European leaders late Wednesday issued an ultimatum to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou: Accept a $180 billion tranche of bailout money - with the attached condition of more austerity - or stop using the euro.

The ultimatum followed Papandreou's surprise announcement earlier this week that he would put the question of accepting the bailout money to a popular referendum, next year.

Further complicating the situation is the possibility Papandreou may not survive a confidence in the Greek parliament.

By early Thursday European stocks were edging higher on hopes that the referendum may turn out to be just another scare in the now two-year saga of the continent's sovereign debt crisis.

That same hope lifted futures of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500, all of which pointed to a higher open.

The euro was trending higher, while the yen and dollar were lower.

Gold for December delivery on the Comex  climbed $19.20 to $1,729.60, while cash gold rose $17.42 to $1,752.23.

Silver for December delivery was up 34 cents to $33.94, while cash silver added 61 cents to $34.44.