Investors have enjoyed a fifth consecutive week of gains on the Australian share market, but the returns are becoming limited.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed higher by 18.8 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 6634.1 on Friday, after mixed results in US trade.

Financials was the best sector, up 0.83 per cent, while materials gained 0.38 per cent after being lower for most of the session.

The All Ordinaries closed better by 18.0 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 6865.3.

In a week in which Australia emerged from its first recession in nearly 30 years, the ASX200 climbed 0.5 per cent.

The index is close to the figure it started the year on, 6684.07.

Optimism for coronavirus vaccines in the US and Europe have been tempered by record infections, deaths and a slowing US economy.

The Aussie dollar was buying 74.27 US cents at 1621 AEDT, higher from 74.08 US cents at Thursday’s close.