Shares of gold and silver miners soared Tuesday after a surprisingly strong U.S. housing report sparked a global move toward risky assets that lifted equities, commodities and the euro.

The Commerce Department said housing starts surged unexpectedly to an 18-month high in November and permits for future construction were the highest since March 2010 as demand for rental apartments rose.

The euro was up 0.6 percent to nearly $1.31 in afternoon trading, and all major stock indexes in the U.S. were up more than 2 percent. The 10-year bond was falling as investors left safe havens for more promising, if risky, opportunities. 

Among those opportunities were gold and silver mining companies, many of which were rising more than the price of the underlying metals they mine. 

The afternoon rally in risky assets and gold seems to have been spurred by better-than-expected U.S. housing data, which in turn further pushed the U.S. dollar lower, BNP Paribas analyst Anne-Laure Tremblay told Reuters. The rebound in the gold price could prompt some short-covering, and we could retest the 200-day moving average in the coming days. 

Gold on the Comex was up more than 1 percent, but gold mining shares gained more. Among gold miners, Randgold Resources Ltd. jumped 4.2 percent and Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. surged 4 percent. Yamana Gold Inc. rose 4.9 percent and New Gold Inc. climbed 5 percent. 

Silver on the Comex was up nearly 2 percent, but silver mining shares were rising more. Among silver miners, Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. popped 9 percent and Mag Silver Corp. shot up 10 percent. Other big silver miners whose shares rose included Hecla Mining Co., up 7 percent, Silver Standard Resources Inc. up 5.9 percent and Endeavour Silver Corp., up 6.1 percent.