Gold is being supported by ‘continued worries related to Greece and investors returning to ETFs.’

Investors bought the most gold through physically-backed funds in almost five months as Greece and its creditors headed for last-ditch talks. Gold futures were little changed and palladium was near a two-year low.

Gold exchange-traded product holdings rose 6.9 metric tons, the most since Feb. 2, to 1,598.7 tons, data compiled by Bloomberg as of Thursday show. Assets rose in seven of the past eight days, rebounding from the lowest level since 2009.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande Friday. Merkel said a weekend meeting of finance ministers will be decisive for Greece, which faces a debt repayment next week. A separate European Union official said that without a deal by then, ministers would have to map out ways to manage the potential consequences of a Greek default.

Gold is being supported by “continued worries related to Greece and investors returning to ETFs,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Copenhagen-based Saxo Bank A/S, said in an e-mail. “The Greek negotiations will go to the wire and optimism about a deal seems to be fading.”

Futures for August delivery added 0.1 percent to $1,172.70 by 7:50 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices fell the previous five days in the longest slump since March and are down 2.4 percent this week. Bullion for immediate delivery was little changed at $1,173.47 in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing.

China Volume

On the Shanghai Gold Exchange, volume for benchmark spot contract was the highest on record, according to data on Bloomberg going back to 2002. Comex volume was about the 100-day average for the time of day.

The metal is down 1 percent this year on expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006. Higher borrowing costs curb gold’s allure because the metal doesn’t pay interest or give returns like other assets such as bonds and equities.

Silver for September delivery was 0.1 percent lower at $15.82 an ounce, after earlier falling to the lowest since March. Platinum for October declined 0.6 percent to $1,077.60 an ounce and is set for a fifth weekly loss in six.

Palladium for September delivery lost 0.4 percent to $676.50 an ounce, after dropping to $670 on Thursday, the lowest in almost two years. The metal, which entered a bear market this month, is headed for a seventh week of losses in the longest streak since 2008.

Original article by Eddie van der Walt & Jasmine Ng (Bloomberg News).