America's two biggest trading platforms - the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market - were closed and it is possible they could remain shut for a further two days.
The shutdown left traders in limbo and affected volumes as the FTSE 100 Index closed 11.6 points lower to 5795.1, while the Cac-40 in France and Germany's Dax fell 0.9% and 0.4% respectively.
However, the market had been much lower until it received a boost from better-than-expected personal spending data in the US, which rose 0.8% thanks to demand for Apple's iPhone 5.
The pound was down against the US dollar at 1.60 as the greenback strengthened amid the uncertainty surrounding the hurricane. Sterling was off against the euro at 1.24.
As the US east coast faced up to 90mph winds and an 11-foot storm surge, investors pulled out of reinsurance underwriting specialists listed on the London stock market.
Lloyds of London insurers have so far had a benign year for natural catastrophes, in sharp contrast to the previous year when the specialist market was pushed to a loss by a series of disasters.
In the FTSE 250 Index, Catlin Group fell 2% or 8.3p to 464.8p, Amlin dropped 7p to 367.2p and Hiscox declined 8.7p to 475.5p.
Hargreaves Lansdown was the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 Index after brokers Citi downgraded the stock and placed the firm on a sell rating. Shares slipped 31.5p at 727.5p.
Commodity stocks were also lower in the top flight after a mixed session for markets in Asia, where investors were focused on whether the Bank of Japan will announce new measures to help the country's economy this week.
Mining giant Anglo American, which rallied on Friday after announcing plans for the departure of chief executive Cynthia Carroll, fell back 16.5p to 1917p. Oil giant BP shed 6.6p to 425p ahead of third quarter figures on Tuesday.
The banking sector had a volatile session amid expectations that the compensation bill from the mis-selling of payment protection insurance will increase during third quarter results from the sector this week.
JP Morgan recently estimated that the final cost could reach £15 billion, compared with the most recent forecast of around £10 billion.
Lloyds Banking Group, which posts figures on Thursday, reversed earlier losses to stand flat at 40.5p while Royal Bank of Scotland dropped 1.5p to 276.2p.
Elsewhere in the top flight, shares in FT publisher Pearson were 4p lower at 1225p after it inked a deal with Germany's Bertelsmann to combine its Penguin book publishing arm with Random House.
The new venture, which will be called Penguin Random House, will have an estimated one quarter share of the market for English language book sales and generate annual revenues in the region of £2.5 billion.
The biggest Footsie risers were Sage Group up 5.6p at 309.8p, ARM Holdings ahead 9p at 665.5p, Hammerson up 6.1p at 475.9p and National Grid ahead 6.5p at 708p.
The biggest Footsie fallers were Hargreaves Lansdown down 31.5p at 727.5p, Admiral Group off 23p at 1094p, Antofagasta down 20p at 1249p and WPP off 12.5p at 788p.