Gold exchange traded funds rose Monday morning as the precious metal’s price rose above $1,600 an ounce for the first time on worries over the sovereign bond crisis in Europe and a lack of clarity on the U.S. debt limit.

Silver ETFs were the big gainers in Monday’s premarket despite gold prices hitting a key milestone – iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) rose nearly 3% before the bell. SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) added 0.5%.

“European sovereign fears, combined with wrangling over raising the debt ceiling, have boosted safe havens,“ said analyst Kathleen Brooks, according to a MarketWatch report. “Recently gold has outpaced silver; however, with gold reaching a record $1,600 per ounce this morning, we think that silver may play catch up.”

The gold ETF is up 12% so far this year.

U.S. stocks were set for a lower open to the week as the debt crisis continued to shake European markets and yields on Italian and Spanish bonds rose. SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) fell 0.6% in preopen trade.

SPDR Gold Shares