The ASX 200 index was dragged below the key 5500 level as bank shares dropped hard on fears over earnings.
A short time ago, the index was at 5,487.60, down 56.11 points or 1.01%.
Westpac fell below the $30 mark, losing 3.2% to $29.81, after warning of weaker non-interest revenue.
“Institutional activity has remained subdued leading to lower markets related income and a decline in fees from debt markets activities,” Westpac said in its third quarter Capital, Funding and Asset Quality Update update.
The Commonwealth, which yesterday released its annual results, was down 2% to $75.85.
The ANZ shed 1.5% to $26.34 and the NAB 1.1% to $26.52.
Other financial stocks were also under pressure. The AMP had lost 4% to $5.62 and the Bank of Queensland almost 2% to $10.49.