Gold surged to the $600 level for the first time in three months yesterday before falling back, while a parallel rise in silver prices has increased dramatically the value of the Hunt brothers' holding.

In Surich gold rose $581.50 an ounce at the close from Wednesday's $575.50. In London $577 the day before.

In New York gold rose to $600 an ounce shortly before the close, but profit-taking pushed the rate back to $586.75, up from $582 the day before. Silver was trading at $16 an ounce at the close, up from $15.60 the day before.

The Comex settlement price for gold was $587 an ounce, compared with Wednesday's $582.30, and the silver settlemtn price was $15.95 an ounce against $15.55 the day before.

The dollar skidded to 219.20 yen after dropping to 221.60 yen in Tokyo from 222.4. The dollar was quoted at 1.7744 marks in New York compared with 1.7762 Wednesday.

European closing rates with late New York prices in parentheses: Zurich, 1.6464 Swiss Francs, up from 1.6447 (1.6450); Amsterdam, 1.9485 guilders, down from 1.9510 (1.9490); Paris, 4.1312 francs from 4.138 (4.1310); Brussels, 28.695 Belgian francs from 28.81 (28.39); Milan, 833.30 lira from 834.80 (834.25).

In London, the pound remained buoyant, closing at $2.331 against $2.323, and in New York it rose to $2.335.