Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 1.2 percent on the final trading day of 2012, locking in an annual rise of 7 percent for the year. The most active gold contract for February delivery rose 19.9 dollars, or 1.2 percent, to settle at 1,675.8 dollars per ounce. The race to avoid tax hikes and spending cuts between President Obama and the Congress somehow provided certain optimism to investors. With a 7 percent gain, 2012 is the 12th year in a row reporting yearly rise of gold prices, despite the fact that it is the smallest growth since 2008. Silver for March delivery gained 25.2 cents, or 0.84 percent, to close at 30.227 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery rose 20.8 dollars, or 1.37 percent, to close at 1,542.4 dollars per ounce.