*New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Boston in its path. NEW YORK/ REHOBOTH BEACH, Del., Oct 29- Hurricane Sandy began battering the U.S. East Coast on Monday with fierce winds and driving rain, as the monster storm shut down transportation, shuttered businesses and sent thousands scrambling for higher ground hours before the worst was due to strike.
Meteorologist Todd Gross says Hurricane Sandy is a "deep storm."
NEW YORK, Oct 29- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said two key tunnels connecting Manhattan to New Jersey and Brooklyn would be closed later on Monday ahead of Hurricane Sandy. Cuomo said the Holland Tunnel, which opened in 1927 and remains one of the main connections between New Jersey and New York City, would close as a precaution at 2 p.m..
The ports of New York/New Jersey and Delaware Bay are closed, with CNBC's Mary Thompson.
Sandy was expected to lose some punch as she moves over Pennsylvania and Maryland, crossing near Constellation Nuclear Energy Group's 1,705- MW Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant in Maryland, Exelon Corp's 2,244- MW Peach Bottom, 805- MW Three Mile Island and 2,264- MW Limerick in Pennsylvania, and PPL Corp's 2,450- MW Susquehanna in Pennsylvania.
With Sandy gaining strength overnight as the vast storm turned westward toward New Jersey, Philadelphia Energy Solutions began the precautionary closure of key units at its 330,000 barrel-per-day Philadelphia refinery, the biggest in the region, said one source familiar with operations.
NEW YORK, Oct 29- Gasoline and heating oil futures jumped on Monday as Hurricane Sandy approached the U.S. East Coast and refineries in the region shut or curbed production.
Colonial Pipeline, the largest U.S. product pipeline, is still shipping gasoline and diesel up from Gulf Coast refineries to the Linden, New Jersey terminus in the New York Harbor, spokesman Steve Baker said.
LONDON, Oct 29- Brent crude oil steadied around $110 a barrel on Monday as Hurricane Sandy, which forecasters said could be the largest storm ever to hit the North American mainland, approached the U.S.
FMHR traders cover the very latest on Hurricane Sandy as it churns towards the northeast. CNBC's Scott Cohn reports from Battery Park and Kayla Tausche from New Jersey. Meanwhile Cliff Gallant, insurance analyst at KBW, discusses the storm's impact on insurers.
LONDON, Oct 29- As the Northeast United States locks down in the path of Hurricane Sandy, the freakishly large tropical storm careening in from the Atlantic, the main impact is likely to be on fuel demand rather than supply.
*U.S. East Coast refineries cut output ahead of hurricane. LONDON, Oct 29- Brent crude oil fell towards $109 a barrel on Monday as U.S. East Coast refineries shut ahead of the approach of Hurricane Sandy, reducing crude use in the world's largest oil consumer.
It seems likely that Sandy will impose greater destruction of property, and add to that the loss of about two days commercial activity, spread over a week across 25 percent of the economy, an initial estimate of the economic losses imposed by Sandy is about $35 to 45 billion.
*U.S. East Coast refineries cut output ahead of hurricane. LONDON, Oct 29- Brent crude oil fell below $109 a barrel on Monday as refineries along the U.S. East Coast wound down operations ahead of the approach of Hurricane Sandy, reducing crude use in the world's largest oil consumer.
SINGAPORE, Oct 29- Oil slipped on Monday, with Brent below $109 a barrel, as refineries along the U.S. East Coast wind down operations ahead of approaching Hurricane Sandy, reducing crude use in the world's largest oil consumer.
CNBC's Kayla Tausche reports on the storm's surge along New Jersey's coast; and The Weather Channel's Maria LaRosa tracks Sandy's high winds. Also, crunching the numbers on the potential damage and its impact on insurance, with Chuck Watson, Kinetic Analysis Corp, and Mike Santoli, Yahoo Finance senior columnist.
Ralph LaRossa, PSE&G president & COO, explains how his power company is preparing to handle a storm of this magnitude as it heads to the Garden State.
SINGAPORE, Oct 29- Oil slipped on Monday, with Brent near $109 a barrel, as refineries along the U.S. East Coast wind down operations ahead of approaching Hurricane Sandy, reducing crude use in the world's largest oil consumer.
*Stock, options markets shutting down Monday. NEW YORK, Oct 28- U.S. stock and options markets will be closed on Monday, and possibly Tuesday, as regulators, exchanges and brokers worry about the integrity of markets and the safety of employees in the face of Hurricane Sandy.
NEW YORK, Oct 28- Wall Street firms were set to open with limited staffing on Monday, as stock markets remain closed ahead of Hurricane Sandy's approach and many traders in other markets as well as other financial professionals worked from home.