Hurricane Sandy drags FTSE 100 down

The FTSE 100 fell in early trading, spooked by hurricane Sandy which has already shut the US stockmarket.

Financial and mining shares dragged the main blue chip index down in early trading, with Hargreaves Lansdown the biggest loser on the FTSE 100, dropping 3.95 per cent. Insurers were also big fallers on the stock market as investors worried about potential hurricane Sandy claims.

On the FTSE All-Share, coal producer New World Resources fell 5.5 per cent in early deals.

Underwriter Catlin Group lost almost five per cent as it was dragged down by the prospect of hurricane claims. Insurers Amlin and Hiscox fell 2.75 per cent and 2.56 per cent respectively.

Pub group Punch Taverns lost 4.53 per cent in early deals. Last week it said it was in talks to restructure its debt.

Topping the leader board this morning was credit card insurer CPP Group, which last week warned of tough trading ahead in 2013 due to a regulatory probe.

Media company Tarsus Group was up 8.64 per cent. Newspaper publisher Mecom Group added 1.84 per cent.

Premier Foods increased 6.83 per cent, while publisher Trinity Mirror regained some of its losses last week, adding 2.44 per cent.

The Artemis Alpha investment company rose more than 2.5 per cent in early deals.

UK banks dragged the index down in early trading. HSBC was down 0.08 per cent, RBS fell 1.13 per cent, Barclays dropped 1.2 per cent and Lloyds Banking Group was down 0.39 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.04 per cent down, while in the US the Dow Jones closed 0.03 per cent up.