U.S. crude edged higher Friday, briefly trading at a premium to the global benchmark Brent for the first time since October 2010 as more traders piled into the volatile spread trade on signs of stronger demand for U.S. crude.
While prices on both sides of the Atlantic fell, Brent's losses outpaced U.S. crude's throughout the latter part of the trading session. U.S. crude for September delivery briefly surged to a 5-cent premium over Brent in heavy trading volume before the spread reversed. As recently as February of this year, Brent traded at a $23 premium to U.S. crude.
U.S. light, sweet crude hit $109.32, its highest level since March 2012, before ending the session up a penny at $108.05. Brent crude traded as high as $109.18 per barrel earlier in the session before shedding 0.6 percent to close at $108.07.