Crude oil
Crude oilReuters

Crude oil prices continued to go up on Friday following a sharp rebound in the previous session, but analysts say the rally is unlikely to be sustained, as fundamentals governing the oil market still remain weak.

Brent crude oil prices rose over 10% to trade above $48 per barrel on Thursday, posting the biggest one-day gain since December 2008.

"Although a price recovery was on the cards at any time given that oil prices had slumped virtually continuously since the end of June by a total of more than 30%, the extent of yesterday's rally indicates just how negative market sentiment must have been," said Commerzbank Corporates & Markets in a note.

The rally was mainly led by upbeat economic data in the US that showed its economy grew more-than-expected in the second quarter in 2015. Oil prices were also supported by a rebound in global stock markets after a sell-off witnessed earlier this week.

However, analysts feel the rebound in oil prices will not be as sharp as seen between mid-January and April this year.

Prices reached as high as $70 per barrel during those months, rebounding by 50% from a low of $46 per barrel hit in January, as slowing oil production in the US underpinned the prices.

"Back then it was a sharp decline in the oil rig count in the US which sparked the initial increase that drove oil prices up by 50% in all in the space of a good three months," said Commerzbank.

But oil prices again slumped to a level below January-lows in August, as oversupply issues continued to resurface, besides a slowing Chinese economy and impending Iranian oil supply weighing on the prices.

Further, yuan devaluation by China two weeks ago triggered a heavy sell-off in commodities including oil. Analysts expect that the Chinese authorities may try to keep the exchange rate lower for long to boost the country's exports, which may pressurise oil prices.

Given the above factors, a rally in oil prices similar to that witnessed during the January-April period seems unlikely to recur. 

"We do not believe this is likely to be repeated given the still plentiful oversupply, but in the short term Brent could rise to $50 per barrel," said Commerzbank.

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