Insurance Stocks Pummeled in International Trade, NYSE Will Not Resume Trade Wednesday September 11

September 11, 2001

The New York Stock Exchange indicated that it would not resume trade on Wednesday. Reuters reported that U.S. stock markets had been shut down in the wake of terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and the U.S. Pentagon near Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11.

European stock markets, and especially insurance shares, were particularly hard hit following the terrorist attacks. At the same time that insurance stocks were falling, oil stocks were gaining, according to Reuters.

Overall, the insurance sector reportedly dropped 11 percent, while Swiss Re fell 15.7 percent, Axa plummeted 13.3 percent, and Royal & Sun Alliance dropped 14.44 percent.

With regard to the blows to the insurance sector, a London dealer stated that the phenomenon was “not a markdown” and indicated that individuals were actually selling the insurers. The dealer further stated that the situation was especially heavy for reinsurers.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, insurance stocks also dropped significantly. Manulife Financial Corp. and Sun Life Financial, Canada’s two largest life insurers, were down 6.4 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, some of the smaller insurers — Clarica Life Insurance Co. Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and Canada Life Financial — led the net losers on the Toronto bourse, all down more than 5 percent.

Reuters stated that representatives from Nasdaq were not immediately available to comment. Furthermore, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt had also announced that the U.S. securities markets had not opened for trading following the New York and Washington attacks.

After the London Stock Exchange shut down, many European bourses followed suit at approximately15:30 GMT. Nasdaq Europe stopped trading and the trading of U.S. stocks was suspended by Deutsche Boerse.

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