The market is open and Westpac is tanking

High diving by celebrities in Germany. Joerg Koch/Getty Images

Westpac shares are taking a hammering in early trade on the ASX.

A short time ago, the shares had dropped below $30 each, down 4% to $29.80.

The bank today announced weaker than expected first half cash profit of $3.904 billion, up 3%, due to a rise in bad debt provisions.

The other major banks followed with the Commonwealth down 2.5% to $71.990, the NAB 2.2% to $26.58 and the ANZ 1.9% to $23.81.

Westpac is the first of three major banks to announce their six monthly results this week.

Analysts expect increasing pressure on bad debt provisions.

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