Australia’s share market has edged lower after four consecutive sessions of gains, as investors sell the banks and CSL.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was lower by 11.1 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 6090.9 at 1200 AEDT on Friday.
The index has gained more than 5.0 per cent this week, but investors appeared to be baulking at helping it move above the 6200 level. This has been about the peak of the index’s trading range for the past four months.
The All Ordinaries index was down by 8.5 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 6297.3.
The dip comes despite a good lead from Wall Street, where investors were buoyed by US President Donald Trump’s comments about the possibility of fiscal support.
There has been good news for Australia’s economy on the housing front.
Home buyers took advantage of a virus-flattened housing market in August, as borrowing rose by 12.6 per cent on the previous month.
New loan commitments for housing were worth $21.29 billion in August, according to seasonally-adjusted Australian Bureau of Statistics data. Owner occupiers drove the gain.
Meanwhile income tax cuts will be brought forward for millions of Australian workers after being passed by federal parliament.
The laws lump together fast-tracked personal tax cuts with a handful of business tax breaks.
On the ASX, health shares were the biggest weight, down 0.72 per cent.
CSL shed 0.91 per cent to $296.20, the day after it reported subsidiary Seqirus finalised a deal with the federal government for a possible coronavirus vaccine from the University of Queensland.
Financials edged lower, down 0.38 per cent.
ANZ dropped 0.70 per cent to $18.41, the Commonwealth lost 0.30 per cent to $67.90, NAB fell 1.22 per cent to $18.53 and Westpac slipped 0.22 per cent to $18.08.
The materials sector was better by 0.17 per cent but its biggest players were down.
BHP lost 0.24 per cent to $36.56, Rio Tinto was down by 0.94 per cent to $97.03 and Fortescue was lower by 0.94 per cent to $16.84.
Energy was the best performing sector. Shares were up 0.38 per cent after oil prices rose from output shutdowns ahead of a storm in the US Gulf of Mexico and the possibility of supply cuts from Saudi Arabia and Norway.
Oil Search was one of the best movers of the big names, higher by 1.59 per cent to $2.86.
Earlier, US stocks ended higher as comments by Mr Trump fuelled hopes of fresh fiscal support, while data underscored the view that the labour-market recovery was struggling to gain momentum.
Two days after calling off negotiations on a comprehensive bill, Trump in an interview said talks with Congress have restarted over further COVID-19 relief and that there was a good chance a deal could be reached.
The Aussie dollar was buying 71.74 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 71.51 US cents at the close of trade on Thursday.