Gold mine Afghanistan
There could be more scenes like this gold mine in Nor Aaba, Afghanistan, as the Afghan Ministry of Mines looks for companies to mine its trillion dollars of gold and copper reserves. Omar Sobhani / Reuters

Gold prices rose Wednesday as purchases by cost-conscious investors offset worries about the Eurozone debt crisis and a rising dollar.

Throughout the day gold prices hovered in a tight range, as did stocks, reflecting the markets' focus on this week's Eurozone meeting, advertised by participants as the long-awaited occasion when a solution to the continent's debt crisis will be unveiled.

But early in the afternoon a German official expressed doubts about the possibility that this week's summit will succeed, according to Reuters.

I have to say today, on Wednesday, that I am more pessimistic than last week about reaching an overall deal ... A lot of protagonists still have not understood how serious the situation is, said the unnamed official.

My pessimism stems from the overall picture that I see at this point, in which institutions and member states will have to move on many points to make possible the new treaty rules that we are aiming for, he said.

The comment from the German knocked down the euro, weighed on stocks and lifted the dollar.

On the Comex, gold for February delivery rose $13.00 to $1,744.80, and gold for immediate delivery rose $2.74 to $1,741.13.

Silver for March delivery rose 37 cents to $32.74, and silver for immediate delivery slipped four cents to $32.63.