LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) - Three-month aluminium CMAL3 hit the highest since September 2008 at $2,656 a tonne on Tuesday as Middle East unrest fuelled expectations of rising costs for producers of the power-intensive metal.
Aluminium on the London Metal Exchange traded at $2,649.25 at 1550 GMT, up from a close of $2,615 on Monday.
"(Aluminium) is the only metal that is produced in any quantity in the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region," said analyst Stephen Briggs of BNP Paribas.
"Secondly although Japan doesn't mean anything for aluminium production per say...the whole nuclear story in Japan points towards rising energy costs worldwide, and aluminium is most exposed to that of all of the base metals."
Oil prices turned positive on Tuesday as Libyan lead Muammar Gaddafi's troops halted a rebel advance, raising doubts among investors over how quickly the conflict in OPEC member Libya could be resolved.