“I’d say there is also a bit of pre-holiday profit-taking in there too, as we came off a strong session on Thursday,” said Tribeca portfolio manager Jun Bei Liu.
“But it is the fears around the virus that has been the main factor. Anything that gained in the reopening trade has been sold off.“
The big banks, tech firms and property stocks suffered in the final session of the week, while travel-aligned companies and the energy sector predictably fell.
Gold miners, health firms, and supermarkets Coles and Woolworths were in the winners’ circle.
The market had started the day at its highest since February 25, but followed up its best session of the month with its worst.
The index did however manage to hold on to seal a seventh straight weekly rise – mainly due to Thursday’s economic-fuelled ebullience – and continue a streak that began with a market-friendly US election result…