Silver prices hit a new peak today and rose by Rs 1,250 to Rs 48,000 per kg on frantic buying by jewellers and industrial units to meet the ongoing marriage season demand.
Gold also extended gains for the fifth straight session and rose by Rs 25 to Rs 20,745 per 10 grams.
Trading sentiments for both the precious metals turned bullish after silver hit a 30-year high and gold climbed to one-month peak in global markets as mounting unrest in the Middle East spurred demand for the metals as alternative investments.
Market analysts said retail customers buying gold on expectations of a further rise in the precious metal's prices in the coming days partly supported the uptrend in its prices.
Meanwhile, a World Gold Council (WGC) report said gold imports are likely to rise this year on the back of robust demand coupled with high economic growth.
"Gold imports were 918 tonnes in 2010. It is too early to estimate exact imports. But there is every reason for us to believe that it is going to be higher than last year as demand is good," WGC Managing Director (India and Middle East) Ajay Mitra said.
Demand for gold in India, the world's largest consumer of the yellow metal, was close to 100 tonnes in January, 2011 as against 85 tonnes in a year-ago period, he said, adding this was indicative of the momentum continuing.
Silver in the national capital remained the centre of brisk buying in line with a firming global trend and recorded a handsome gain of Rs 1,250 to Rs 48,700 per kg. The metal had surged by Rs 950 yesterday.
Similarly, the silver weekly-based delivery jumped up by Rs 1,170 to Rs 48,545 per kg, in continuation of a rise of Rs 1,060 in the previous session. However, silver coins held steady at previous levels of Rs 56,000 for buying and Rs 56,100 for selling of 100 pieces.
The gold of 99.9 and 99.5 per cent purity maintained their upward march for the fifth day in a row and gained Rs 25 each to Rs 20,745 and Rs 20,635 per 10 grams, respectively.
Sovereign remained stable at Rs 16,950 per piece of eight grams.