Market Buzz: Hurricane Sandy grounds trading

(RIA Novosti / Syisoev)
Russian markets are expected to open slightly lower Monday reflecting uncertainty in Europe and worries about the damage Hurricane Sandy will likely cause on the US East Coast.

Russian stocks closed in the red Friday amid a lack of positive drivers at home and abroad. The MICEX shed 0.9% and the RTS declined 1.1%.

European markets closed slightly higher Friday after a choppy session as better-than-expected US growth data pushed indices into the black. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.1%. The French CAC 40 was boosted by earnings from oil giant Total and the German DAX rose 0.4%. The Spanish IBEX 35 fell 0.1% on data showing that Spain’s jobless rate hit a record 25%.

US stocks painted a mixed picture on Friday despite data showing that the US economy grew 2% in the third quarter, compared to 1.3% in the second quarter. US indices will close for both floor and electronic trading Monday, and possibly longer, due to the danger posed by Hurricane Sandy.

Asian stocks traded slightly higher Monday, with Japanese firms among the best performers. Japan’s Nikkei finished in the black, South Korea’s Kospi rose less than 0.1% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.2% as property firms fell after the introduction of new market taxes, while the Shanghai Composite traded flat.