NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Gold prices were rising Tuesday as investors shrugged off surging U.S. consumer confidence data and focused on the pending launch of a European refinancing operation. Gold for April delivery was advancing $14.50 to $1,787.40 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,792.70 and as low as $1,767 an ounce while the spot price was gaining $21.40, according to Kitco's gold index. Silver prices were surging $1.46 to $37.065 an ounce while the U.S. dollar index was falling 0.32% at $78.29.
On Wednesday, the European Central Bank launches its second long-term refinancing operation, which will provide an estimated $630 billion in cheap loans to the region's financial system. Anticipation of the move was pressuring the dollar and lifting the euro. Investors were paying little attention to signs that the U.S. consumer is growing increasingly confident about the state of the economy. The Conference Board's measure of consumer confidence soared to a reading of 70.8 in February from 61.5 in January. Economists were looking for a rise to 63 after an originally reported 61.1 in January. Stocks rebounded after the release even with the downbeat economic news earlier in the morning. The latest measure of durable goods orders from the Commerce Department dropped 4% in January, following a 3.2% rise in December. Orders were expected to fall 1% after an originally reported 3% rise the prior month, according to estimates from Thomson Reuters. Mining stocks were largely following gold prices higher. Among the biggest gainers were First Majestic Silver ( AG), rising 6.2% to $21.61, and Great Panther Silver ( GPL), rising 4.5% to $2.76. Among leading miners included Goldcorp ( GG), up 3.3% to $49.70, and Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM), which was adding 2.4% to $37.08. -- Written by Ross Tucker in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ross Tucker. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/rosstucker. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.