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NYSE stays shut for superstorm

THE New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Wall Street remained closed today after traders unanimously agreed to suspend business for the first time since the World Trade Centre attacks on September 11, 2001.

Stock market executives, regulators and brokers agreed to keep the US stock markets closed for a second day because of Hurricane Sandy.

An NYSE spokesman said a decision on when to resume trading was down to the industry.

The financial district in New York dismantled security posts around the building and instead piled sandbags in the shuttered doorways.

Dr Tom Jeffery, the chief hazard scientist for analyst Core- Logic, said the storm was likely to cause massive disruption to business and infrastructure, and threatened nearly 284,000 residential properties valued at almost $88bn (€68bn).

Efforts are under way to reopen US stock markets tomorrow, but a final decision has not yet been taken.

Storm surges between 6ft and 11ft are expected to hit Long Island Sound, while 4-8ft is expected in New York City.

The storm will hit transport systems and some of the world's most expensive real estate.

Tom Larsen, a senior vice-president at risk analyst Eqecat, said economic damage, direct losses associated with the storm and intangibles such as business interruption and additional living expenses are expected to reach $10-20bn (¤7.5-15bn).