Oil prices fell on Wednesday as U.S. government data showed crude inventories rose last week and as a stronger dollar and weaker global equities applied pressure.
U.S. September crude closed down $1.67, at $49.19 a barrel—the lowest since April 2. It fell intraday after the EIA data to $49.67, two cents below the previous contract low from March.
U.S. crude's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) is below 30. A reading below 30 is considered an indication of an oversold condition by technical traders.
Brent September crude was down 98 cents at $56.06.
U.S. crude oil stocks rose 2.5 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its weekly report, contrasting with expectations inventories would be down 2.3 million barrels.
"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. Imports from several other OPEC-member countries also rose.
The dollar rebounded from its biggest decline in a month. A stronger dollar increases profits for producers selling dollar-denominated oil and more expensive for consumers using other currencies.