LONDON (AFP) - World commodity markets were rocked this week by weak data in the United States, a leading consumer of raw materials, which cast doubt on the prospect of a global economic recovery. Data released Thursday showed US job losses surged to 467,000 in June, pushing the unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.5 percent. Since the recession began in the United States in December 2007, the worlds biggest energy user has lost 6.5 million jobs and the jobless rate has risen 4.6 percentage points. OIL: Crude oil hit eight-month peaks on Tuesday, before tumbling lower as weak US jobs data quashed hopes of a speedy economic recovery. The market was also pulled lower by the strengthening greenback which makes dollar-priced commodities like oil more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, which in turn dampens demand and pulls prices lower. The dollar rose in value as fresh worries about the health of the US economy supported the safe-haven greenback, dealers said. Crude markets were ... lower as market participants continued to digest US employment data in subdued conditions with US markets closed for US Independence Day, said Sucden analyst Nimit Khamar on Friday. Oil prices are likely to remain under pressure until economic data point to a firm turnaround in US fortunes, which will in turn lead to stronger energy demand, analysts said. Meanwhile oil market officials here launched a probe into an alleged rogue trader who earlier this week helped push prices to eight-month peaks, costing his company nearly 10 million dollars (7.15 million euros). ICE Futures Europe, Londons oil market, is investigating Tuesdays unauthorised trade, after which crude futures surged above 73 dollars a barrel. David Peniket, president and chief operating officer of ICE Futures Europe, on Friday said his body investigated unusual trading activity as a matter of course. An oil brokerage, PVM Oil Associates, said on Friday that it was investigating suspected unauthorised trading within its company. PVM was forced to unwind the series of unauthorised trades a move that in turn contributed to a sharp drop in prices, analysts said. In early morning trade on Tuesday, Londons Brent oil had spiked to 73.50 dollars the highest level so far this year and an eight-month peak. New York crude had soared early Tuesday to 73.38 dollars which was also last seen in October. Oil prices had also jumped at the start of the week on tensions in crude producing Nigeria and Chinas reported plans to rapidly increase its strategic crude oil reserves. PRECIOUS METALS: Prices mostly fell in line with the stronger dollar ahead of the US Independence Day holiday weekend. Gold finished lower in reaction to a rebound in the US dollar but really the reasons behind the decline were a number of factors, said ODL Securities analyst Marius Paun. A larger than expected drop in non-farms payrolls showed the labour market under continued pressure. Then, traders liquidating long positions ahead of the July 4 weekend in the US added some downside pressure. By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold dipped to 932.50 dollars an ounce from 942 dollars a week earlier. Silver fell to 13.44 dollars an ounce from 14.26 dollars. On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum sank to 1,185 dollars an ounce at the late fixing on Friday from 1,203 dollars. Palladium firmed to 250 dollars an ounce from $245. BASE METALS: Base metals prices declined, with the exception of nickel which found support on supply-side mining problems in Australia. Prices were lower... as weaker-than-expected US employment data weighed on general market sentiment, said Barclays Capital analysts. By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dipped to 5,005 dollars a tonne from 5,115 dollars a week earlier. Three-month aluminium decreased to 1,612 dollars a tonne from 1,667 dollars. Three-month lead sank to 1,715 dollars a tonne from 1,735 dollars. Three-month tin retreated to 14,260 dollars a tonne from 14,850 dollars. Three-month zinc fell to 1,571 dollars a tonne from 1,615 dollars. Three-month nickel rallied to 16,380 dollars a tonne from 15,902 dollars. COCOA: Cocoa prices pulled lower. By Friday on LIFFE, Londons futures exchange, the price of cocoa for delivery in September eased to 1,600 pounds a tonne from 1,628 pounds a week earlier. On the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT), the September cocoa contract declined to $2,494 a tonne from $2,544. COFFEE: Coffee prices drifted downwards. By Friday on LIFFE, Robusta for delivery in September fell to 1,339 dollars a tonne from 1,323 dollars a week earlier. On the NYBOT, Arabica for September dropped to 117.80 US cents a pound from 119.80 cents. SUGAR: Sugar prices lost ground. On LIFFE, the price of a tonne of white sugar for delivery in August dipped to 445 pounds from 446.70 pounds a week earlier. On NYBOT, the price of unrefined sugar for September reversed to 17.18 US cents a pound from 17.51 cents. GRAINS AND SOYA: Grains and soya prices were subdued ahead of an early close on Thursday due to a US public holiday on Friday. Agricultural commodities put in a weak performance, weighed by a firmer dollar, lower equities and weaker crude oil prices, said Barclays Capital analysts. Corn prices have been pressured by supportive weather conditions in the Midwest, they added. By Thursday on the Chicago Board of Trade, maize for delivery in December sank to 3.57 dollars a bushel from 4.04 dollars on Friday of the previous week. November-dated soyabean meal used in animal feed firmed to 10.06 dollars from 9.91 dollars. Wheat for September dropped to 5.29 dollars a bushel from 5.63 dollars. RUBBER: Malaysian rubber prices firmed after a decision by the worlds top three producers to cut their exports in a bid to boost the market, dealers said. Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia agreed on Wednesday to remove about 900,000 tonnes (900m kilos) of rubber from the export market this year. On Friday, the Malaysian Rubber Boards benchmark SMR20 rose to 160.95 US cents per kilo, from 159.80 cents last week.