Undated (AP) _ Silver futures prices charged to a two-month high Monday on New York's Commodity Exchange on technical buying stemming from perceptions that the economy is climbing out of recession.

On other commodity markets, gold futures also rose; coffee futures fell; cotton was down sharply; oil futures advanced; grains and soybeans were mostly lower; and most livestock and meat futures retreated.

Silver for delivery in September settled 8.1 cents higher at $4.168 a troy ounce, the highest settlement of a near-term contract since July 23. October gold rose $2.20 to $351.10 a troy ounce.

Analysts said the bulk of the silver buying was inspired by bullish technical signals after a stronger opening.

Many of the buyers were believed to be metal dealers and users, which suggested that confidence in an economic recovery is growing. Silver prices have been depressed by slack industrial demand for much of this year.

News of a 4 million-ounce drawdown in Commodity Exchange warehouse stocks of silver last Friday bolstered ideas that industrial demand is growing, said analyst Tom Griffo of Cargill Investor Services Inc.

The exchange's warehouse stocks rose by about 1.5 million ounces Monday to 268.7 million.

Precious metals also drew support from a weaker dollar and ideas the United States is leaning toward more financial assistance for the Soviet Union, said Peter Cardillo, research director for Westfalia Investments Inc.

Increased Western aid would reduce the Soviets' need to sell precious metals for hard currency.

Cardillo said silver prices could rise another 10 or 12 cents before encountering major resistance.

But Bernard Savaiko, senior metals analyst with PaineWebber Inc., said dealer demand could dry up at $4.20 to $4.25 an ounce.

Coffee futures fell sharply on New York's Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange after coffee-producing countries failed to agree over the weekend on a plan to boost prices.

December coffee fell 1.6 cents to 89.2 cents a pound.

Cotton futures collapsed on the New York Cotton Exchange on ideas that last week's gains, tied to cool, wet weather in the Texas high plains, were exaggerated.

October cotton plunged 1.99 cents to 64.08 cents a pound.

Oil prices rose on the New York Mercantile Exchange as traders stocked up on crude while keeping an eye on increased tensions surrounding Iraq and waiting for OPEC's meeting Tuesday.

Light sweet crude oil for delivery in November settled at $22.07 per barrel, up 28 cents; October home heating oil rose 1.21 cents to 63.80 cents a gallon; October unleaded gasoline rose .45 cent to 61.35 cents a gallon; October natural gas rose 5.8 cents to $1.80 per 1,000 cubic fee but November deliveries fell 6.1 cents to $1.919.

Grain and soybean futures prices settled mostly lower on the Chicago Board of Trade amid forecasts for a week of good harvest weather in the Midwest with little chance of frost.

December wheat ended 3 3/4 cents lower at $3.26 3/4 a bushel; December corn was 1 1/4 cents lower at $2.48 3/4 a bushel; December oats ended cent higher at $1.30 a bushel; November soybeans fell 7 cents to $5.92 a bushel.

Livestock and meat futures finished mostly lower in quiet trading ahead of the Agriculture Department's monthly cold storage report, which was released after the close. It showed 29.8 million pounds of pork bellies in cold storage as of Aug. 31, which was near expectations.

October live cattle rose .03 cent to 73.40 cents a pound; September feeder cattle fell .13 cent to 86.27 cents a pound; October live hogs fell .60 cent to 45.97 cents a pound; frozen pork bellies dropped 1.62 cents to 47.85 cents a pound.