LONDON (AFP) - Prices of raw materials, including oil and gold, rebounded this week on growing signs of economic recovery in the United States and China, traders said. Positive US bank earnings and strong growth data from China led investors to believe that the world economy was on course to drag itself free of the worst downturn in decades. The US reporting season for 2Q09 corporate earnings had a good start and recent macro-economic data was by and large better than expected, analysts at Dresdner Kleinwort said in note to clients. This alongside a high level of liquidity or large cash holdings at investment funds boosted both equity and commodities markets. US bank Goldman Sachs led the way in terms of strong second-quarter earnings published this week, with a 65-percent jump in net profits. US housing starts and construction permits meanwhile surged in June after strong gains the prior month, government data showed Friday, suggesting the prolonged real-estate slump may be easing. OIL: Oil prices bounced back above 60 dollars a barrel this week on official data pointing to economic recovery in the United States and China, the worlds two biggest energy consuming nations. The recent positive data and better than expected corporate results may have provided a short term boost for crude markets, but concerns remain about the underlying oil fundamentals and doubts regarding future global demand, Nimit Khamar, energy market analyst at the Sucden brokerage in London, said on Friday. Dealers noted that overall crude demand worldwide remained weak and supplies were plentiful despite a drop in US energy inventories. Oil prices had closed with a gain of more than two dollars on Wednesday, lifted by a drop in US crude inventories. The Department of Energy said US crude oil reserves had sunk by 2.8 million barrels in the week ended July 10 as refineries stepped up production. The data also showed that distillate inventories, including gasoline and diesel fuel, which had increased for months, rose less than expected. Oil producers cartel OPEC had on Tuesday forecast that demand for crude would rise in 2010 after two years of contraction. Growth was expected to come mostly from developing economies such as China, India, Latin America and the Middle East. One year ago, oil prices had struck record peaks above 147 dollars but they have since collapsed in line with slumping energy demand. China, the worlds second-biggest energy consuming nation, said on Thursday that its economy grew 7.9 percent in the second quarter of 2009, in a stunning turnaround for the Asian powerhouse that offered some hope for the rest of the world. This put China back on track to achieve its goal of 8.0 percent growth for the year, despite the financial crisis hitting its crucial export sector particularly hard. On July 11, 2008, New York crude had rocketed to a record high point of 147.27 dollars and London Brent struck a historic peak of 147.50 on heightened concerns about supplies. But over the past 12 months, prices have nosedived, striking 32 dollars in December before clawing back some ground on economic recovery hopes. By Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), light sweet crude for delivery in August jumped to 63.45 dollars a barrel from 59.16 dollars one week earlier. On Londons InterContinental Exchange (ICE), Brent North Sea crude for September delivery climbed to 65.15 dollars a barrel from 59.80 dollars a week earlier for the August contract that expired Thursday. PRECIOUS METALS: Precious metals advanced across the board. Precious metals remain very much at the mercy of the dollar and equity markets, with few independent drivers of their own, said UBS analyst John Reade. A weaker dollar can make commodities prices in the US unit cheaper for buyers holding rival currencies, pushing up demand in the short term. By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold rose to 937.50 dollars an ounce from 913 dollars a week earlier. Silver climbed to 13.16 dollars an ounce from 12.63 dollars. On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum grew to 1,165 dollars an ounce at the late fixing on Friday from 1,095 dollars. Palladium increased to 245 dollars an ounce from 234 dollars. BASE METALS: Base metals prices rallied. Better corporate earnings fuelled a rally in US stocks, which in turn ignited commodity markets, MF Global analyst Edward Meir. A weaker dollar provided the icing on the cake. By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months jumped to 5,325 dollars a tonne from 4,890 dollars a week earlier. Three-month aluminium climbed to 1,725 dollars a tonne from 1,574 dollars. Three-month lead rose to 1,675 dollars a tonne from 1,625 dollars. Three-month tin gained to 13,275 dollars a tonne from 12,700 dollars. Three-month zinc increased to 1,546 dollars a tonne from 1,530 dollars. Three-month nickel grew to 16,100 dollars a tonne from 14,900 dollars. COCOA: Cocoa prices rose strongly, especially in New York on data showing a drop in the amount of cocoa ground. North American cocoa grindings fell 6.75 percent year-on-year... a less than expected figure and this has provided support to prices, said analysts at Barclays Capital. By Friday on LIFFE, Londons futures exchange, the price of cocoa for delivery in September rose to 1,750 pounds a tonne from 1,693 pounds a week earlier. On the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT), the September cocoa contract jumped to 2,735 dollars a tonne from 2,494 dollars. COFFEE: Coffee prices increased. By Friday on LIFFE, Robusta for delivery in September climbed to 1,440 dollars a tonne from 1,354 dollars a week earlier. On the NYBOT, Arabica for September gained to 117 US cents a pound from 114.25 cents. SUGAR: Sugar prices advanced on expectations that India will have to import the commodity owing to monsoon damage caused to its own crop, putting strain on global supplies. On LIFFE, the price of a tonne of white sugar for delivery in October grew to 460.20 pounds from 456.90 pounds a week earlier. On NYBOT, the price of unrefined sugar for October climbed to 17.44 US cents a pound from 16.98 cents. GRAINS AND SOYA: Maize and soya prices fell as weather conditions in the US Midwest favoured production. This time of the year the weather has a big impact on the market, said Jason Roose, analyst at investment firm US Commodities. By Friday on the Chicago Board of Trade, maize for delivery in December dropped to 3.26 dollars a bushel from 3.38 dollars a week earlier. November-dated soyabean meal used in animal feed fell to 9.00 dollars from $9.17. Wheat for September rose to 5.28 dollars a bushel from 5.18 dollars. RUBBER: Malaysian rubber prices rose here this week amid enquiries for the commodity from Uzbekistan and the United States, dealers said. On Friday, the Malaysian Rubber Boards benchmark SMR20 climbed to 163.80 US cents a kilo, from 159.70 cents a week earlier.