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Westpac, market down as caution rises over Syria

The major financials and resources companies are acting as a drag on the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (^AXJO) (ASX: XJO), with the index down 60 points or 1.2%.

Increasing geopolitical risk regarding the Syrian crisis is weighing on investors’ confidence and has seen many take their profits and spread their level of risk. BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) have fallen 2.2% and 2.5%, respectively, whilst Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) has plunged 4.3%, reversing much of its gain from last week.

Meanwhile, Westpac (ASX: WBC) has fallen the most out of the big four banks and is down 1.8% whilst its primary competitors are each down between 1.2% and 1.7%.

Shannon Briggs from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management added that the level of profit taking could also be increased with the US going into the long weekend for Labor Day, whilst recent company earnings reports haven’t really given investors fresh reasons to buy stocks either.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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