The U.S. securities industry canceled equity trading on all markets , moving to protect workers as Hurricane Sandy barreled toward New York City with 70-mph winds and the threat of an 11-foot surge.

The shutdown, announced Sunday night by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the exchanges, followed an earlier decision by the New York Stock Exchange to close floor trading. Risks posed by the storm, expected to come ashore early Tuesday in southern New Jersey, were deemed too great to require workers to travel.

"The U.S. equity markets will not be open Monday because of the impending storm," according to a statement from John Nester, a spokesman for the SEC in Washington. "The decision was made by the markets and market participants after careful consideration in consultation with the SEC. The SEC will continue to be in communication with the markets as the situation warrants."

Exchanges from the NYSE and Nasdaq to those run by Direct Edge Holdings LLC in Jersey City, N.J., and Bats Global Markets Inc. in Lenexa, Kan., will suspend operation. U.S. equity trading is spread across 13 exchanges and dozens of private venues run by brokerages.

Earlier Sunday, New York City issued an evacuation order of Battery Park City in Manhattan, resulting in the closure of the NYMEX floor, its owner CME Group Inc. said.

The last time the NYSE cut trading hours because of weather was Jan. 8, 1996.

Bloomberg News

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