After much excitement this week, investors took the comfort of giving a quiet sigh from the departure of former President Donald Trump, while President Joe Biden on Wednesday took the oath of office to become the 46th U.S. president.
Having kept to a steady ‘bullish’ pace through the week, the Australian sharemarket recorded an 11-month high, before reversing on Friday.
At the closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell -23.3 points, or +0.34%, to 6,800.4, leaving the benchmark 5.52% below the record high set-in mid-February last year at 7,197.20.
For the week, the S&P/ASX 200 Index added +85 points or +1.3%.
The bulls hit the brakes as Afterpay plummeted -5.15%, to $141.33, while US-based Sezzle slipped -0.12%, and settled at $8.50.
Besides Information Discretionary and Telecommunication, the Healthcare sector had the most notable rise +1.48% as Fisher & Paykel surged +5.9%, to $32.50.
Biotechnology giant CSL rose +2.17%, to $274.60, while ResMed slipped -0.07%, to $27.90, Cochlear gained +0.63%, to $197.90, Ramsay Health fell -1.72%, to $62.70 and Mesoblast lost -1.22%, to $2.43.
The Financial sector lost its bullish charm with National Australia Bank leading the “Fab Four” (banks) lower after falling -0.89%, to $24.46, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group slid -0.4%, to $24.64, Commonwealth Bank lost -0.27%, to $85.09, Westpac Banking Corp fell -0.18%, to $21.78, and Macquarie Group dropped -1.69%, and settled at $137.10.
The materials sector also fell into the red, with Fortescue Metals Group leading the titans lower after falling -2.21% to $24.32, while Rio Tinto lost -2.1% to $119.32, and BHP Group tumbled -1.89%, to $46.13.
Telecom Aussie Broadband shares surged +7.7%, to $2.66 after the company said it expected $12.6 million in underlying gross earnings this fiscal year.
For our oil and gas producers, Woodside shares slid -1.45%, to $26.56, Oil Search fell -2.03%, to $4.35, Origin Energy dropped -2.29% $5.11, AGL Energy declined -0.67%, to $11.86.
Meanwhile, our local currency, the Australian dollar is currently buying US$0.7711 (as of writing).