The Australian sharemarket started the week dragged lower by tech and gold stocks, but higher oil prices boosted the energy sector.
The S&P/ASX200 finished 0.9 per cent lower at 6697.2, while the All Ordinaries Index dropped 0.92 per cent to 6959.5.
CommSec analyst James Tao said the market failed to maintain momentum after two consecutive days of gains late last week and shrugged off Wall Street reaching record highs.
“Weighing quite heavily has been the performance of the IT sector,” Mr Tao said.
By now pay later market leader Afterpay was 1.73 per cent softer at $113.99, while smaller rival Zip Co was down 3.07 per cent at $5.37.
Splitit, which enables existing credit card holders to pay for purchases by splitting the cost into interest and fee-free monthly payments, jumped 8.88 per cent to $1.41 after announcing an agreement to team up with Google in Japan.
Grooming and beauty products retailer Shaver Shop Group soared 11.32 per cent to $1.18 after reporting a 102 per cent surge in first half online sales, prompting it to substantially increase its net profit forecast for the period.
After the gold price eased, Westgold Resources slumped 8.65 per cent to $2.43, Perseus Mining slid 8.08 per cent to $1.19, Ramelius Resources gave up 6.75 per cent to $1.59, Resolute Mining retreated 6.02 per cent to 78 cents and Gold Road Resources backtracked 6.64 per cent to $1.26.
On the back of higher oil prices, Santos advanced 3.15 per cent to $7.20 and Woodside Petroleum put on 2.62 per cent to $25.46.
“It’s been a great start to the year with both Brent and WTI at levels not seen since February 2020 and the pandemic’s initial impact in Western economies,” Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said.
“Oil is still pricing in a great deal of optimism linked to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and any negative news flow on this front would prompt a sharp negative reaction.”
Mesoblast surged 14.29 per cent to $2.56 after reporting positive trial results for its rexlemestrocel-L drug in reducing incidents of heart attacks and strokes.
Resmed, which provides products to improve sleeping, added 3.28 per cent to $28.32.
QBE Insurance softened 1.05 per cent to $8.47 despite reporting its 2021 reinsurance program had been placed at terms slightly better than allowed for in its business planning assumptions.
ANZ was almost unchanged at $23.85, Commonwealth Bank slipped 0.55 per cent to $85.16, National Australia Bank gave up 0.6 per cent to $23.21 and Westpac inched 0.05 per cent higher to $20.29.
Rio Tinto weakened 1.3 per cent to $122.40 and BHP was down 0.36 per cent at $46.50.
The Aussie dollar was buying 77 US cents, 57.01 British pence and 63.22 Euro cents in afternoon trade.