LONDON (AFP) - Crude oil prices dived this week on fresh concerns about the pace of US economic recovery, while gold slid back under 1,000 dollars per ounce on profit-taking. It looks like there is a flood of money out of commodities, said Ellis Eckland, an independent oil trader. Investors want to get to the exit as soon as possible; they feel that the real economy is weak. Elsewhere, traders eyed the Group of 20 nations two-day summit in Pittsburgh that begins on Thursday. G20 leaders are promising tough action to police markets and prevent a repeat of the global financial crisis. OIL: Crude oil prices slumped on evidence of weak energy demand in key consuming nation the United States. The market had shed more than three dollars on Thursday as mixed US economic data and signs of sluggish oil demand highlighted fears about a tepid recovery from the global recession. Prices had already fallen almost three dollars on Wednesday in reaction to a large jump in US crude oil inventories a sign that energy demand remains weak. Worries about the pace of the US economic recovery intensified after data Thursday showed existing home sales fell 2.7 percent in August to 5.10 million units, snapping a winning streak. On Wednesday, a widely-watched Department of Energy report showed US crude reserves rose 2.8 million barrels in the week to September 18, against analysts expectations of a decline. Stocks of distillates, which include heating fuel, rose by three million barrels last week. Distillates are being closely monitored ahead of the northern hemisphere winter when demand for heating fuel peaks. Energy demand has plunged after the global economy slipped late last year into its worst recession since the 1930s. This sent oil prices tumbling from historic highs of more than 147 dollars in July 2008 to around 32 dollars in December. Prices have since recovered somewhat but investors remain concerned over the pace of the upturn. Oil prices had risen strongly above 70 dollars on Tuesday as the European single currency struck a one-year high point above 1.48 dollars. But the dollar has since clawed back some ground. Since oil is traded in the US currency, a weaker dollar makes the commodity more attractive to holders of stronger units, leading to greater demand and pushing prices higher. By Friday on Londons InterContinental Exchange (ICE), Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November sank to 65.38 dollars a barrel from 71.25 dollars a week earlier. On the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), light sweet crude for November slid to 66.62 dollars from 72.07 dollars for the now-expired October contract a week earlier. PRECIOUS METALS: Gold prices retreated as traders cashed in gains from last weeks strong rally which saw the precious metal climb within a whisker of a record high. Gold sank as low as 985.28 dollars per ounce on Friday, which was the lowest point for more than two weeks. The yellow metal started to tumble, paying a heavy price for (the) decision to book profits, said ODL analyst Marius Paun. A stronger US currency accompanied by a steep decline in crude prices added to the downside pressure. The previous week, gold had struck 1,024.28 dollars an ounce, which was the best level since March 2008 when it hit a record 1,032.70. Gold is regarded as a safe bet for investors to guard against inflation, which is of growing concern following trillions of dollars in borrowing by governments and radical measures including the printing of new money. By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold fell to 991.50 dollars an ounce from 1,012 dollars a week earlier. Silver slid to 16.20 dollars an ounce from 17.11 dollars. On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum eased to 1,330 dollars an ounce at the late fixing on Friday from 1,337 dollars. Palladium dipped to 299 dollars an ounce from 304 dollars. BASE METALS: Base metals prices mostly fell amid concerns about Chinese demand tailing off. Commodity price appreciation has slowed recently and risks to the recovery have grown, with evidence that Chinas import demand for some commodities is easing, said Barclays Capital analyst Kevin Norrish. By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months sank to 5,928 dollars a tonne from 6,220 dollars a week earlier. Three-month aluminium fell to 1,832 dollars a tonne from 1,929 dollars. Three-month lead firmed to 2,198 dollars a tonne from 2,195 dollars. Three-month tin decreased to 14,400 dollars a tonne from 14,600 dollars. Three-month zinc slipped to 1,880 dollars a tonne from 1,923 dollars. Three-month nickel dipped to 16,876 dollars a tonne from 17,165 dollars. COCOA: Cocoa prices struck fresh multi-month peaks this week on the prospect of lower output from Ivory Coast, which is the worlds top producer. Prices later ran into profit-taking in New York. By Friday on LIFFE, Londons futures exchange, the price of cocoa for delivery in December rose to 2,035 pounds a tonne from 2,019 pounds a week earlier. On the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT), the December cocoa contract slipped to 3,079 dollars a tonne from 3,126 dollars. SUGAR: Sugar futures fell after reaching 28-year highs earlier this month. By Friday on LIFFE, the price of a tonne of white sugar for delivery in December slid to 577 pounds from 582 pounds a week earlier. On NYBOT, the price of unrefined sugar for March fell to 21.78 US cents a pound from 23.67 cents. GRAINS AND SOYA: Maize and wheat prices advanced but soya pulled lower amid unease about frosty weather in key producer United States. The week started with no frost over the weekend and the forecast maps were not indicating any risk of frost, but Tuesday frost came back into southern forecast model and prices started going up, said analyst Bill Nelson at Doane Advisory Services. We are still going to be very concerned about the potential of frost again next week. If the US had frost in the northern areas next week it could damage the corn and soybeans. By Friday on the Chicago Board of Trade, maize for delivery in December rose to 3.38 dollars a bushel from 3.18 dollars a week earlier. November-dated soyabean meal used in animal feed decreased to 9.29 dollars from 9.41 dollars. Wheat for December rose to 4.72 dollars a bushel from 4.57 dollars. COFFEE: Coffee futures drifted lower as many traders banked profits. By Friday on LIFFE, Robusta for delivery in November fell to 1,404 dollars a tonne from 1,508 dollars a week earlier. On the NYBOT, Arabica for December declined to 129 US cents a pound from 136.65 cents. RUBBER: Malaysian rubber prices dropped due to a quiet market amid the Eid al-Fitr holiday, dealers said. They said traders stayed on the sidelines due to the long festive holiday even after the market reopened on Wednesday. On Friday, the Malaysian Rubber Boards benchmark SMR20 fell to 208.30 US cents per kilo, from 209.70 cents last week.