Major European equities markets are trading lower today as investors are waiting to see the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the heavily populated U.S. East Coast. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 is down 0.7%, Germany’s DAX is a similar amount, France’s CAC 40 is down more than 1%, and the STOXX 50 is down about the same amount.
Insurance companies and reinsurers are taking the brunt of the punishment. The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is down 1% in Germany, and Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL) is down 0.8%. Swiss Re is down nearly 3%, and Munich Re is down about 2%.
On the FTSE 100, BHP Billiton plc (NYSE: BHP) is down more than 1% and Rio Tinto PLC (NYSE: RIO) is down more than 1.6%. Prudential Financial Inc. is down about 0.5% and BP PLC (NYSE: BP) is off 1.5%.
Some oil refiners that do not trade in Europe, but that have operations on the East Coast include Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) and Delta Air Lines Co. (NYSE: DAL). These refineries may have to be shut down or reduce their outputs as a safety measure.
WTI crude is trading down in electronic trading today at about $85.88 a barrel, while Brent crude is up about 0.4% at $109.30.