ASX drops after showing strong signs

After having risen 0.7% in early trading yesterday to hit a high of 5439.2 points following positive economic data from the US and China over the weekend, the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) fell 25.4 points or 0.47%, as investors have taken profits on the major banks.

Whilst US 10-year bond yields rose 15 basis points on Friday, US jobs data was better than had been expected, which indicates that the Federal Reserve could begin tapering its bond buying program sooner than anticipated.

As a result, each of the banks have acted as a drag on the benchmark index. Westpac (ASX: WBC) has fallen 0.9% and NAB (ASX: NAB) fell 1.2%. ANZ (ASX: ANZ) and Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) experienced even heavier falls, dropping 2.1% and 1.6%, respectively.

On a more positive note, shares in Orica (ASX: ORI), one of the leading global explosive producers, have soared 10.8% after having reported net profit after tax (NPAT) of $602 million for the full year.

With shares trading slightly lower since last week, now may be an opportunity for investors to pick up quality companies at discounted prices.

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

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