NEW YORK, July 22 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell and U.S. crude settled below $50 a barrel on Wednesday after government data showed crude inventories in the United States rose last week and as a stronger dollar and weaker global equities applied pressure.
U.S. crude oil stocks rose 2.5 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its weekly report, contrasting with expectations of a 2.3 million-barrel drawdown.
"The crude oil inventory rise was driven by a strong rebound in crude oil imports, which neared 8 million barrels per day," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.
Crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose to 1.44 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 1.32 million the previous week, according to EIA data.
Equity markets pulled lower by a weak revenue forecast at Apple Inc and the stronger dollar also pressured oil.
A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated oil more expensive for consumers using other currencies.
U.S. September crude fell $1.67, or 3.28 percent, to settle at $49.19 a barrel, first settlement below $50 since April. The $49.04 low hit in post-settlement trading was a September contract low.
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