Big banks push ASX down

In early morning trade, the big four banks have shown no sign of bouncing back from recent falls despite further rate cuts looming over the Australian economy.

Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported mixed finance figures for home owners and property investors in April. The results showed first home buyers were reluctant to commit to financing a new home, which could also be attributed to government assistance programs ending.

Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) economist Michael Workman said the 0.2% drop in house financing value and 1.1% increase in investment housing, suggest there may be a “pretty modest upswing in loans by value and the number of loans”. However, in addition to international markets falling overnight, the local market doesn’t seem to like the news and has pushed Australia’s biggest bank down 1% early in trading.

Mr Workman says the housing finance figures give rise for the RBA to cut the cash rate two more times before the end of 2013.

Westpac (ASX: WBC), NAB (ASX: NAB) and ANZ (ASX: ANZ) are also adding their weight to the index, each falling 1.5% or more.

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Motley Fool contributor Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares in ANZ.

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