SYDNEY, AAP – Shares were lower on the Australian market as the materials and energy sectors each slumped about one per cent.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was lower by 19.6 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 6830.5 at 1200 AEDT on Friday.
The All Ordinaries was down 18.5 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 7103.6.
Energy dropped 1.01 per cent after oil prices fell following nine days of gains.
The materials sector was down 0.93 per cent.
There were slight moves in US markets, which closed mostly higher.
Wall Street investors continued to analyse solid corporate earnings. A government report on jobless claims, though, reaffirmed that employment remains weak while the pandemic continues.
The S&P 500 gained 6.5 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 3,916.38 and the Nasdaq Composite added 53.24 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 14,025.77. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7.1 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 31,430.7.
Meanwhile in Australia, Victorian government officials are discussing a short lockdown for Melbourne in response to a coronavirus outbreak.
There have been 13 infections from the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport.
South Australia has barred visitors from Melbourne, while Western Australia will maintain border restrictions on Victorians for at least another seven days.
On the ASX, mining services provider Macmahon Holdings surged 6.12 per cent to 26 cents after it said its underground mining division won a four-year contract with Silver Lake Resources.
A Macmahon subsidiary, GBF, will continue to provide mining works at the Deflector gold and copper mine in Western Australia.
The company said the deal is expected to reap $220 million in revenue.
Shares in Silver Lake Resources fell 2.2 per cent to $1.55.
Former AFL chief Andrew Demetriou is the third person to resign from the Crown Resorts board after a scathing review of the casino giant.
Crown Resorts in a statement confirmed the departure.
The company also said chief executive Ken Barton had not resigned but was considering his position.
Shares were down 1.39 per cent to $9.91.
Developer Mirvac says the rollout of vaccines for coronavirus will boost economic confidence and rev up the local construction market.
Mirvac, which works in the residential and commercial property space, reported a 35 per cent fall in bottom line first-half net profit to $396 million.
Shareholders will receive an interim distribution of 4.8 cents per security, down from 6.1 cents in the same period in 2019/20.
Shares were down 2.11 per cent to $2.31.
Outdoor clothing retailer Kathmandu said first-half sales were 12 per cent higher than the same six months in the previous financial year.
The figures for the six months to January 31 were helped by a six month contribution from Rip Curl, which the company bought last year.
Kathmandu is due to give first-half earnings on March 23.
Shares were lower by 2.01 per cent to $1.21.
The Aussie dollar was buying 77.51 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 77.36 US cents at Thursday’s close.