But only a handful of local companies finished Monday’s session in front as the benchmark index tracked a declining US futures market to a close of 6697.2, falling 0.9 per cent.
ACY securities chief market analyst Alistair Schultz said investors were perhaps questioning whether valuations had run too hot after a strong start to the year.
“I think people are looking on with a lot of caution at the moment,” Mr Schultz said.
“You have this idea about FOMO – the fear of missing out – but then you’ve also got FOGO – the fear of getting out.
“I am concerned at some stage big investors will see valuations as too high, pull out, and cause a bit of hysteria”.
Energy stocks extended gains on improved oil prices, while insurers Suncorp and IAG also rose, but there was little else to cheer as investors took a breather from last week’s stimulus-fuelled surge.
Gold miners plunged as the precious metal dived back below $1850 an ounce, while BHP, Rio Tinto, and Fortescue Metals continued Friday’s decline.
The big banks sagged, with Commonwealth Bank dropping 0.6 per cent to $85.16.
CSL, Wesfarmers, Woolworths, Transurban were also among the heavyweight losers, while Afterpay led a wider tech sector decline with a 1.7 per cent drop to $113.99.
Travel firms including Qantas, Flight Centre, Corporate Travel, and Webjet each fell as states antagonise each other over COVID border closures.
Mesoblast was the best local performer, gaining 14.3 per cent after confirming it will meet with US regulators to try to get its heart attack treatment approved.