Stock markets unlikely to open Tuesday: exchange official

NEW YORK Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:53pm EDT

Sandbags block the entrance of the New York Stock Exchange in downtown Manhattan as Hurricane Sandy made its approach in New York October 29, 2012. Hurricane Sandy, the monster storm bearing down on the U.S. East Coast, strengthened on Monday after hundreds of thousands moved to higher ground, public transport shut down and the U.S. stock market suffered its first weather-related closure in 27 years. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Sandbags block the entrance of the New York Stock Exchange in downtown Manhattan as Hurricane Sandy made its approach in New York October 29, 2012. Hurricane Sandy, the monster storm bearing down on the U.S. East Coast, strengthened on Monday after hundreds of thousands moved to higher ground, public transport shut down and the U.S. stock market suffered its first weather-related closure in 27 years.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Equity markets are unlikely to open on Tuesday as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the New York area, a senior exchange official at one of the major exchanges told Reuters on Monday.

A decision has not been made yet, but with the hurricane closing in and metro-area transit systems closed, it is highly likely that U.S. equity trading on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Markets will remain closed.

Industry officials were expected to discuss whether to open or not early Monday afternoon, the source said.

"I would be surprised if the group decides otherwise," the person said.

The fixed income market will be closed Tuesday, a trade group said Monday. Many firms put contingency plans into effect to have a skeletal staff in the office Monday.

(Reporting By David Gaffen; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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