Tokyo — Oil prices crept up on Wednesday, extending the previous session’s rise, but gains were kept in check amid growing fears of how a global economic slowdown will affect demand. Brent was up by 17c, or 0.3%, at $68.14 by 3.11am GMT, reversing earlier losses of a similar margin. On Tuesday, the global benchmark rose by 76c to $67.97 a barrel, not far below its year-to-date high of $68.69, reached on March 21. US crude futures added 9c, or 0.2%, to $60.03, also reversing losses in earlier trade. The US benchmark rose by $1.12, or 1.9%, to $59.94 a barrel in the previous session. “We seem to have reached a state of equilibrium after the recent headline-driven choppy trading and we need to see some new impetus for price direction,” said Jeff Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda in Singapore. That is unlikely to come until there is a conclusion on the US-China trade talks, he said. Discussions between the world’s two largest economies are scheduled to restart on Thursday as the tw...

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