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Hurricane Sandy closes NY markets for two days

It is the first unscheduled, market-wide shutdown since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Nevil Gibson
Tue, 30 Oct 2012

Financial markets in New York will be closed until at least Wednesday, weather permitting.

As “monster storm” Sandy bears down on the US east coast, the New York Stock Exchange and other major exchanges did not open after the weekend.

It is the first unscheduled, market-wide shutdown since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

An initial suggestion that trading floor markets switch to electronic trading was rejected as too complicated and unsafe for staff required to work. Electronic trading in derivatives and options based on these markets are now also closed.

Bond markets closed early on Monday and will remain closed on Tuesday (New York time).

Hundreds of thousands of residents who live near the coast in Delaware, New York and New Jersey states have been evacuated,

Nearly 9000 airline flights have been cancelled and airports will remain closed for the duration of the storm, as have schools and public transport systems.

The large, slow-moving Category 1 hurricane will deliver gale-force winds, rain, flooding and even snow across a much broader swath stretching from North Carolina to New England – including coastal storm surges of as much as 2m in New York Harbour.

The National Weather Service said two cold fronts, one west of Hurricane Sandy and another north, were drawing the warm-air hurricane toward the populous coast and expected to fortify Sandy's reach and intensity.

Political impact
The storm interrupted the election campaigns of President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’.

Both cancelled campaign meetings around the country, with the election a little more than a week away.

President Obama is remaining in the White House to lend support to the storm preparation effort.

European markets
European equity markets were dragged lower by a slump in insurance stocks based on potential losses from Hurricane Sandy.

The benchmark Stoxx 600 index finished down 0.4% at 269.46, the UK's FTSE 100 slipped 0.2% to 5795.10, Germany's DAX declined 0.4% to 7203.16 and France's CAC 40 index finished 0.8% lower at 3408.89.

In currency trading, the US dollar was up against a number of currencies. The euro was trading at $US1.2896, down from $US1.2942 late on Friday in New York.

Among commodities, light, sweet, crude oil for December delivery was down 1.6% at $US84.93 a barrel in New York.

Gold for December delivery was 0.2% lower at $US1708.10 an ounce.

Nevil Gibson
Tue, 30 Oct 2012
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Hurricane Sandy closes NY markets for two days