The London market struggled to find direction today after markets on Wall Street were shut due to fears over the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
America’s two biggest trading platforms – the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market – were closed and could remain shut for days.
The shutdown left traders in limbo and affected volumes as the FTSE 100 Index closed 11.6 points lower at 5,795.1.
As the US east coast faced up to 90mph winds and an 11-foot storm surge, investors pulled out of reinsurance underwriting specialists listed on the London market.
In the FTSE 250 Index, Catlin Group fell 2%, or 8.3p to 464.8p, Amlin dropped 7p to 367.2p and Hiscox declined 8.7p to 475.5p.
Hargreaves Lansdown was the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 Index after broker Citi downgraded the stock and placed the firm on a sell rating. Shares slipped 31.5p to 727.5p.
Commodity stocks in the top flight were also lower after a mixed session for markets in Asia.
Mining giant Anglo American, which rallied on Friday after announcing plans for the departure of chief executive Cynthia Carroll, fell back 16.5p to £19.17 and oil giant BP shed 6.6p to £4.25 ahead of third-quarter figures tomorrow.
The banking sector had a volatile session amid expectations that the compensation bill from the mis-selling of payment protection insurance will increase during third quarter results from the sector this week.
Lloyds Banking Group, which posts figures on Thursday, reversed earlier losses to stand flat at 40.5p, while Royal Bank of Scotland dropped 1.5p to 276.2p.
Elsewhere in the top flight, shares in FT publisher Pearson were 4p lower at £12.25 after it signed a deal to combine its Penguin book publishing arm with Bertelsmann’s Random House.
Stuart Lamont, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Aberdeen Asset Management advancing 0.8% to 322.4p, Aggreko 0.7% higher at £21.01 and Eland Oil and Gas 0.7% ahead at £1.10.
Plexus Holdings was off 8.1% at 198.5p and FirstGroup lost 1.6% to 187.65p.