U.S. markets for stocks, options and other exchange-based derivatives remained closed for a second-straight session on Tuesday, marking the first two-day weather-related shutdown since 1888. NYSE Euronext said it will open for normal trading on Wednesday. Trading is expected to re-commence under normal opening procedures on Wednesday.
Forty deaths have been reported so far, while more than 8.5 million people were left without power along the East Coast. Early estimates suggest that the cost to the U.S. economy could be as much as $20billion.
On the economic front, the S&P Case Schiller report on home prices was released as scheduled. The composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose for a seventh consecutive month in August, by 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, in line with economists' forecasts.
However, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for October, which had been scheduled for release, will now be out on Thursday.
Disruption from Sandy proved minimal for European markets, European stock markets and the euro rebounded as investors cheer positive company earnings and react to news of thousands of job cuts at Swiss bank UBS.
The US dollar lost ground against the Euro and commodity currencies in European and US trade on Tuesday. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.2885 to US$1.2985 and closed US trade near US$1.2960. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US103.30c to highs around US103.85c before ending US trade near US103.65c. And the Japanese yen lifted at the start of European trade from 79.97 yen per US dollar to JPY79.27 but eased over European and US trade to JPY79.60.
Base metal prices rose in response to a weaker US dollar on the London Metals Exchange on Tuesday. Metals rose between 0.3-1.8 percent with lead and zinc faring best and copper up the least. The gold price also rose modestly on Tuesday with the December Comex gold futures up by US$2.50 to US$1,711.20 an ounce. Gold importers in India bought the precious metal ahead of major festivals such as Diwali, a key time for weddings. Traditionally gold jewellery is part of the dowry daughters receive from their parents. But the spot iron ore price eased by US20c to US$119.80 a tonne.
In economic news on Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases building approvals for September and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) the financial aggregates for September.
In equities news, National Australia Bank (NAB) posts full year results and Challenger managing director Brian Benari is due to address the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia lunch on From Boomer to Busted: Will Longer Life Expectancies Finish What the GFC Started.
Country Road (CTY), JB HiFi (JBH), Tabcorp Holdings (TAH), Centro Retail Australia (CER), Bega Cheese (BGA), Fantastic Holdings (FAN) and Tassal Group (TGR) hold annual general meetings while Consolidated Media Holdings (CMJ) has a scheme meeting to vote on sale of Foxtel holding to News Corporation (NWS). Telstra (TLS) has investor day.