LONDON - Oil prices slumped this week as traders worried the slowing US economy would dampen demand from the world's biggest energy consumer, sparking losses across other key commodity markets. OIL: Crude futures plummeted further from record high points above 147 dollars per barrel that were struck exactly one week ago. "The recent huge pull back from new record highs above 147 dollars a barrel have come as the economic mess in the US continues, which has hurt current and future forecast demand for oil," said Sucden analyst Michael Davies. "At the same time there are growing signs that the fall out in the US is impacting the rest of the world, with economic data in Europe, the UK, and Japan worrying and there are even signs of slower growth in India and China, the key demand growth drivers." Despite tumbling by about 15 dollars over the course of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, oil prices are still up 30 percent since the start of the year when they hurtled past 100 dollars a barrel for the first time. Prices slid lower Wednesday after a shock rise in US oil and gasoline inventories that indicated record-high prices were eroding energy demand in a US economy that was already weak, traders said. US government data showed that oil inventories climbed by 3.0 million barrels in the week ending July 11, confounding market expectations for a drop of 2.2 million barrels. PRECIOUS METALS: Precious metals drew some strength from ongoing economic uncertainty stemming from the troubled US banking sector and the weak US dollar. Gold, seen as a haven in times of economic troubles, reached 988.02 dollars an ounce, the highest level since March. The euro hit a record high of 1.6038 dollars on Tuesday on scepticism that a US government rescue of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would contain worries about the US financial sector, analysts said. A weaker greenback tends to encourage demand for dollar-priced goods because they are cheaper for buyers with stronger currencies. "We believe that in the near term gold will be driven by risk aversion fears and, following the weekend moves to reassure financial markets about the future of Freddie and Fannie there may be some respite to these fears," said analyst James Moore at TheBullionDesk.com. "But this may be only short-lived. Investors have become much more worried about systemic risk and, once worried, investors will remain concerned until there is clear evidence that the situation is getting better." The price of white metal platinum meanwhile fell on hopes of an improving supply situation in key producer South Africa. BASE METALS: The base metals complex mainly fell on worries that slower US growth would sap demand. "We remain uninspired by the near term outlook for copper and aluminium as slowing (economic) growth is slowing demand growth for both metals," said UBS analyst John Reade. Aluminium had hit a historic 3,380 dollars per tonne the previous week after Chinese moves to cut production. By Friday, copper for delivery in three months fell to 8,078 dollars per tonne on the London Metal Exchange from 8,365 dollars a week earlier. Three-month aluminium sagged to 3,040 dollars per tonne from 3,380 dollars. Three-month lead dipped to 1,965 dollars per tonne from 2,025 dollars. Three-month zinc slid to 1,806 dollars per tonne from 2,050 dollars. Three-month tin rose to 23,400 dollars per tonne from 23,201 dollars. Three-month nickel receded to 20,300 dollars per tonne from 21,900 dollars. COFFEE: Coffee prices dipped after the sharp drop in oil. "Oil prices set off another chain reaction in the commodity complex, including (Arabica) coffee which slumped below 140 US cents," said Sucden analyst Ralph Hawes. By Friday on LIFFE, Robusta for September delivery fell to 2,373 dollars per tonne from 2,361 dollars a week earlier. On the NYBOT, Arabica for September delivery slid to 137.50 US cents per pound from 142.62 cents. COCOA: Cocoa prices fell, mirroring most other raw materials. By Friday on LIFFE, London's futures exchange, the price of cocoa for September delivery dropped to 1,446 pounds per tonne from 1,550 pounds a week earlier. On the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT), the September cocoa contract sank to 2,807 dollars per tonne from 2,926 dollars. SUGAR: Sugar also headed lower. By Friday on LIFFE, the price per tonne of white sugar for October delivery dipped to 359 pounds from 390.50 pounds the previous week. On NYBOT, the price of unrefined sugar for October delivery declined to 12.53 US cents per pound from 13.80 cents. GRAINS AND SOYA: Grains and soya prices sank on the prospect of favourable growing conditions in key producers Australia and the United States, as well as tumbling oil prices. Lower crude prices tend to weaken prices of maize and soya, which are used to produce ethanol, a cheaper alternative to gasoline or petrol. By Friday on the Chicago Board of Trade, maize for August delivery slid to 6.29 dollars per bushel from 6.91 dollars the previous week. August-dated soyabean meal " used in animal feed " sank to 15.15 dollars from 16.15 dollars. Wheat for August delivery was down at 8.10 dollars per bushel from 8.30 dollars. RUBBER: Malaysian rubber prices declined in line with the lower cost of crude, which is used to make synthetic rubber. "Prices eased as oil prices declined," said one dealer. On Friday, the Malaysian Rubber Board's benchmark SMR20 fell to 316.05 US cents per kilogramme (2.2 pounds) from 322.40 US cents a week ago.