UPDATE 1-LME aluminium hits highest since Sept 2008

LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) – Three-month aluminium (CMAL3: Quote, Profile, Research)
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. [O/R]

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Keiron Henderson)

UPDATE 1-LME aluminium hits highest since Sept 2008