Gold bullion
Gold bullion Reuters

Shares of Canadian gold and silver mining companies soared Tuesday as precious metals prices climbed and worries about the U.S. economy as well as the eurozone's sovereign debt crises drove investors to safe-haven securities.

In early afternoon trading, three of the top four performers were Canadian companies: Goldcorp Inc. jumped 4.3 percent and Yamana Gold Inc. soared 5.8 percent, and IamgoldCorp. vaulted 5 percent. U.S.-based Newmont Mining Corp. leaped 5.6 percent.

Among silver companies, three of the top four performers were also Canadian: Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. jumped 7.6 percent, Mag Silver Corp. surged 5.9 percent and First Majest Silver Corp., was up 3.6. U.S.-based Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp., added 3.2 percent.

Meanwhile, on the New York futures exchange gold climbed 1.5 percent and silver gained 2.4 percent.

Shares of gold and silver miners outperformed other stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average added 1 percent, the Nasdaq composite was up 0.89 percent and the S&P 500 rose 1.1 percent.