Hurricane Katrina shut down oil pumping facilities and delayed three oil liners in the Gulf of Mexico, causing crude oil futures to trade at $67.41 as of 3:45 p.m. EDT on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after jumping to a high of $70.31. Crude oil futures closed at $66.13 on Friday.
The hurricane, which made landfall southeast of New Orleans this morning, shut down operations at pension funds across three states.
Phone lines were down in New Orleans; officials at the $390 million New Orleans City Employees Retirement System could not be reached. Elsewhere:
In Baton Rouge, offices of state pension plans were closed. Among them, a recording at the $7 billion Louisiana State Employees' Retirement System stated the "office is temporarily closed due to a weather emergency." Similar messages greeted callers to the offices of the $12 billion Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana and the $800 million Louisiana Firefighters' Retirement System.
The $17.5 billion Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi, Jackson, and the $27 billion Retirement Systems of Alabama, Montgomery, were closed at least for today, according to phone recordings at both funds. Additionally, the $165 million Mississippi State University Foundation, Mississippi State, closed at noon CDT today.
The $70 million City of Mobile (Ala.) Police & Firefighters Pension Plan was closed today, but the $651 million Alabama Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Trust, Montgomery, was open for the entire day. "We're getting some rain, but it's not that bad," said a spokeswoman at the fund.