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LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) The Lloyd's of London market said on Thursday that it slid to a small loss in 2005 as a result of large hurricane claims, but that its financial position remained strong.

Lloyd's, the world's largest and oldest insurance market said, it made a pretax loss of 103 million pounds ($180.5 million), against a profit of 1.37 billion in 2004, after being hit by the worst year on record for natural disasters.

Lloyd's had net claims of 3.31 billion pounds from the string of major hurricanes that buffeted the United States and Caribbean, but said it remained in sound financial shape.

(Reporting by Simon Challis Reuters Messaging: rm://simon.challis.reuters.comzreuters.net Email: simon.challiszreuters.com Telephone +44 20 7542 1805)) ($1=.5705 Pound) REUTERS SS VC1431

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