NEW YORK (AP) -- The financial markets resumed limited operations with bond trading Thursday, two days after the World Trade Center attacks, but stock trading remained in suspension for a third day.
The New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market and other financial markets hoped to reopen by no later than Monday. Teams of utility workers raced to reconnect telephone, electric and other services needed for the resumption of stock trading.
Treasury bond trading began at 8 a.m. and the Chicago Board of Trade, where futures contracts are traded, opened in an abbreviated session.
Bond prices were sharply higher in early trading, an indication that investors, nervous about the economy even before Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, were seeking safe haven investments.
"We still have a lot of uncertainties out there, and we're probably going to see some very tentative trade for awhile," said Gary Thayer, chief economist for the A.G. Edwards and Sons stock brokerage.
The atmosphere at the Chicago Merc was subdued but trading proceeded normally following an early flurry of activity when traders drove most foreign currencies higher against the dollar.
Many traders tucked small American flags in their jacket pockets.
It was not known when operations would resume at the New York Mercantile Exchange, where energy and precious metals are traded, located near the trade center in a complex known as the World Financial Center.
In overseas stock trading, Asian markets staged a modest recovery Thursday, while European markets opened almost unchanged. Market activity on both continents Europe was subdued as investors awaited the reopening of U.S. stock exchanges.
Damage to the American Stock Exchange, located in a building not far from the World Trade Center, was so severe that parts of its operations might be temporarily relocated to the NYSE, which remains intact, or to other regional markets, NYSE chairman Richard Grasso said.
The local telephone provider, Verizon, said one of its five switching centers near the disaster site was out of service. Some 200,000 lines and 3 million data circuits, or private lines that normally serve business customers, were housed in the building.
Offices of hundreds of companies were destroyed and hundreds of other firms were forced to flee. Even as they sought word on missing employees, companies worked nonstop to set up operations at replacement offices.
Many firms, while speaking of their new arrangements, would not specify exact locations for security reasons.
Information services company Electronic Data Systems Corp. was hustling to set up temporary New Jersey offices for a large brokerage whose World Trade Center quarters were destroyed. EDS would not identify the company.
Merrill Lynch cannot access its football field-sized trading floors in the World Financial Center, which also suffered significant damage.
"We have contingency plans for activities to be carried out at other locations. In fact, I'm speaking to you from an emergency location right now," said Merrill Lynch spokesman Rich Silverman.
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