From Bloomberg

Oil fell for the fourth time in five days as President Donald Trump called on OPEC to lift production and data showed the U.S. economy cooling faster than expected.

Futures in New York almost staged a comeback as trading closed, but still ended down 0.2 percent. It’s “very important” that OPEC increase crude flows as prices are “getting too high,” Trump tweeted on Thursday, giving an extra shove to a crude market already slumping. Later, the U.S. reported fourth-quarter economic growth had slowed more than initially thought.

“Yesterday’s flurry of profit-taking is gaining momentum,” analysts at PVM Oil Associates Ltd. wrote in a note to clients. “The price action over the past few days highlights an underlying lack of confidence in higher oil prices” and “a prevailing sense of wariness over the health of the global economy.”

Still, some bulls remained in a market that has seen prices rise 30 percent this year, propelled by OPEC production cuts. Futures slid as much as 2 percent earlier in the day, but that attracted investors who still have faith in the rally, according to Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA in New York.

“They will continue to push until the upside goes sour,” he said. “They view these opportunities as a buy-the-dip thing rather than time to bail.”

Still, there were signs of strain within the producer alliance that agreed to slash output late last year. Russia may only agree to a three-month extension of output cuts and it’s facing internal pressure to start pumping more oil, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia led the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners to reaffirm their commitment to the cuts, but the Saudis agreed to defer until June a decision on whether to extend the curbs. American sanctions on OPEC members Iran and Venezuela have also propped up prices.

Prices slid immediately after Trump’s tweet, but “we bounced off the lows pretty convincingly, and I think that’s because everybody knows the Saudis are not going to bow to him,” said Bob Iaccino, chief market strategist at Chicago-based Path Trading Partners. “OPEC wants $70.”

West Texas Intermediate for May delivery shed 11 cents to close at $59.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent for the same month, which expires Friday, was a penny lower at $67.82 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Crude was already under pressure after an unexpected surge in U.S. oil stockpiles on Wednesday. A jump in gasoline storage in the New York Harbor area unnerved investors as well, leading to a slide in the gasoline crack spread used as a proxy for profit margins.

“If that goes lower, that implies you don’t need as much gasoline,” Yawger said .“That implies you don’t need as much crude oil to make gasoline and that just sends the whole chain of command on a downward spiral.”

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