Futures & Commodities

Could commodities make a real comeback soon?

China: Catalyst for commodity bounce back?

With oil prices surging after the global market turmoil of "Black Monday," could investors regain their faith in commodities?

One economist told CNBC Thursday that if China fired enough stimulus into its economy, a longer-term bounce back in commodities could be on the horizon.

"We certainly think that the authorities in China have the firepower in terms of monetary and fiscal policy to enact enough stimulus for the economy to at least meet the growth rate they're targeting," Caroline Bain, senior commodities economist at Capital Economics, told CNBC on Thursday.

Brent and WTI crude oil prices surged as much as 9 percent on Thursday, following a rally in equity markets, an unexpected fall in U.S. crude inventories and U.S. second-quarter GDP data that was stronger than the previous estimate.

Markets were also boosted on the news, reported by China's state media agency, that Beijing had expanded its debt-for-bond swap program. This is aimed at easing the financing pressure on China's indebted local governments and comes as part of a series of moves by Beijing to boost its national economy and stabilize its stock market.

Two employees tie up steel bars at a steel-making plant in Ganyu, China.
Getty Images

Analysts have questioned whether China is on track to meet its 7 percent growth target this year, but Bain forecast an upturn in the economy, potentially in the last three months of 2015.

China reported its economy grew by a stronger-than-expected 7 percent in the second quarter year-on-year. This was stronger than analysts had expected, leading to some speculation about the reliability of official Chinese data.

"We probably suspect that the current numbers are overestimating the state of growth in China," Bain told CNBC on Thursday.

"But as the stimulus starts to feed into the economy – we expect probably in the fourth quarter of this year, which is a seasonal upturn in activity – that we will start to see better numbers come out of China."

She added this would "ultimately be the catalyst for quite a bounce in industrial commodity prices."

Read MoreWarning: China may trigger fresh rout in commodities

Even with Thursday's gains, prices of both Brent and WTI crude are around 20 percent lower since the start of 2015.

Bain told CNBC that the worst pressure on commodity prices from the rally in the U.S. dollar during 2015 was over.

"In our view, we see a little more appreciation of the dollar, but the main run of it is behind us now and the bad news for commodities is probably behind us as well," she concluded.

Commodity stocks to bounce: Strategist

Nick Nelson, head of European equity strategy at UBS, suggested that commodity stocks could be a buy in the long-term.

"I think the commodity stocks are going to be the high beats to bounce backs – obviously we get a big move up in the Shanghai Composite, bit of better news in China, then you'll see these things bounce. However, I'm not sure that's the trend for the next six to 12 months," he told CNBC on Thursday.

—By CNBC's Alexandra Gibbs, follow her on Twitter @AlexGibbsy.