COMMODITIES-Copper, metals surge on Chinese data; oil down
* China's imports, exports rebounds offer economic hopes
* Crude oil down for fifth consecutive session, gold up
* Cattle futures jump on hopes Zilmax news ups beef prices
NEW YORK, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Copper and industrial metals rallied on Thursday as upbeat Chinese trade data sparked demand hopes, while gold prices also jumped on easing deflation worries, helping a broad commodities index rise for a second consecutive day. Crude oil fell for a fifth straight session as traders liquidated long positions, offsetting bullish news that imports of crude into China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, hit a record high. Surprisingly firm rebounds in China's exports and imports in July offered some hope that the world's second-largest economy might be stabilizing after more than two years of slowing growth, although an imminent rebound still looks unlikely.
"As long as we continue to see those improved numbers coming out of China, it's going to drive up consumption of commodities," said Tom Power, senior commodities broker at futures brokerage R.J. O'Brien. The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index settled up 0.7 percent, rising for a second straight day following recent losses on economic worries. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed up 2.6 percent at $7,185 a tonne after touching a session peak of $7,215, its strongest since June 11. Aluminium, zinc and nickel also hit the highest levels in two weeks. Gold jumped 2 percent to above $1,310 an ounce as the surprisingly strong China trade data sparked economic optimism, lifting bullion's inflation-hedge appeal. Live cattle futures surged by the 3-cent price limit on news that Tyson Foods Inc, beginning Sept. 6, will no longer buy cattle given the feed additive Zilmax. Participants bought cattle contracts on the view that cattle weaned off Zilmax would bring down animal weights, which could push up beef prices. Cocoa futures on ICE and Liffe hit multi-month highs again on Thursday, buoyed by supply concerns in top growing region West Africa and system fund buying that lifted the markets further into technically overbought territory..
Prices at 3:19 p.m. EDT (1919 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 103.50 -0.87 -0.8% 12.7% Brent crude 106.65 -0.79 -0.7% -4.0% Natural gas 3.297 0.050 1.5% -1.6% US gold 1309.90 24.60 1.9% -21.8% Gold 1311.10 23.96 1.9% -21.7% US Copper 3.27 0.10 3.0% -10.4% LME Copper 7185.00 179.00 2.6% -9.4% Dollar 81.009 -0.278 -0.3% 5.5% CRB 283.486 1.950 0.7% -3.9% US corn 473.50 5.25 1.1% -32.2% US soybeans 1355.75 28.00 2.1% -4.4% US wheat 641.25 -2.25 -0.4% -17.6% US Coffee 122.05 1.00 0.8% -15.1% US Cocoa 2466.00 24.00 1.0% 10.3% US Sugar 16.82 0.04 0.2% -13.8% US silver 20.193 19.998 1.6% -33.2% US platinum 1491.60 53.30 0.0% -3.1% US palladium 738.55 15.40 2.1% 5.0%