Oil rose above $77 a barrel on Monday, retracing some of the previous session's 3.6 percent drop, as bullish manufacturing data from China helped to allay fears about the pace of the rebound in global energy demand.
However, analysts said nagging concerns about the economic outlook would limit oil's gains.
U.S. crude for December delivery rose 62 cents to $77.62 a barrel by 0631 GMT (1:31 a.m. EST), reversing some of Friday's losses of $2.87.
London Brent crude rose 69 cents to $75.89.
HSBC's China Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose for the seventh straight month in October, to an 18-month high of 55.4, pointing to sustained strength in the country's vast manufacturing sector.
Bullish China manufacturing data has increased the risk appetite for commodities, said Michelle Kwek, an analyst at Informa Global Markets in Singapore.
But there's still a lot of nervousness in the market because of expectations that there will probably be little or no growth in the U.S. in the fourth quarter as the government winds down stimulus measures, Kwek said.
While China has consistently been a bright spark in the global economic picture, analysts said manufacturing data from countries including Britain, Germany, France and the U.S. on Monday would likely reinforce the fact that the fledging economic recovery was still fragile.
Oil's slump on Friday was pressured by data that showed weaker U.S. consumer sentiment in October and consumer spending cuts in September, which dashed hopes of a quick rebound in energy demand.
While the U.S. economy has been kick-started into growth, stock investors still face an uncertain outlook as Wall Street gears up for comments from the Federal Reserve and a key report on employment this week.
Analysts have flagged the stubbornly rising jobless rate in the U.S., which has soared to a 26-year high of 9.8 percent in September, as the weakest link in the global rebound.
This week's October U.S. employment data is expected to show that the S. economy shed jobs for a 22nd straight month.
Asian stocks slid on Monday, with Seoul hitting a two-month low after a sell-off in banking shares slammed Wall Street, a slide viewed as a sign that investors are losing faith in the economic recovery.
Worries about the U.S. financial sector resurfaced after CIT Group Inc
Thanks to a series of stellar earnings results in the U.S. and some positive economic data, oil prices broke out of the $65-$75 range traded over August to September, and reached a one-year high of $82 in late October.
But renewed concerns about the pace of the economic recovery prompted oil prices to snap four straight weeks of gains and fall 4.3 percent last week.
(Reporting by Fayen Wong; Editing by Michael Urquhart)