Silver bars
Silver bars Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Gold and other precious metals jumped Friday on bargain hunting and a loss of faith that global central bankers will be able to fix Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

In the hours after Thursday's announcement that the world's top central bankers would funnel U.S. dollars to struggling European banks, the euro and stocks on both sides of the Atlantic rose. But before the day was over, the tide had turned and precious metals, the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasuries were rising again.

By Friday morning the surge was in full swing and by the afternoon gold was up 2 percent and silver had posted a robust 3.2 percent gain. Meanwhile, the dollar was higher against a basket of major currencies and the interest rate on the 10-year bond was sliding down close to 2 percent.

A meeting Friday of European financial ministers in Poland produced no joint statements or resolution, further eroding whatever confidence remained that either governments or central bankers could solve the continent's now-chronic sovereign debt crisis, or even coordinate their responses.

Gold on the New York futures exchange rose to $1,814.70 from $1,781.40, a gain of 1.9 percent. Gold for immediately delivery gained $33.10 to $1,809.66.

Silver rose even more strongly: On the New York futures exchange the white metal added $1.33 $40.83 from $39.50, a gain of 3.4 percent. Silver for immediate delivery gained 81 cents to $40.67.

The U.S. dollar was stronger against a basket of major currencies and stocks were modestly higher.