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Australian shares falls on CSL vaccine slump, while Airbnb soars on US market debut

Australian shares have dropped for a second consecutive day as CSL shares slumped on its abandoned COVID-19 vaccine trial, while the Australian dollar rallied.

The All Ordinaries index closed slightly lower (-0.4pc) at 6,886 points on Friday. Meanwhile, the benchmark ASX 200 performed a little worse, down 0.6 per cent to judi online 6,642.

Despite their losses, the All Ords and ASX ended the week with slight gains (up 0.3 and 0.1 per cent respectively).

Shares in biotech giant CSL were 3.2 per cent lower at $291.53, after the biotech company said it would abandon the next phase of trials for its COVID-19 vaccine.

In a statement to the ASX, CSL said the vaccine candidate, which was being developed with the University of Queensland, had caused some trial participants to return false positives in HIV tests.

In agreement with the Federal Government, CSL said vaccine development would therefore not proceed to phase 2 and 3 trials.

Westpac shares were 0.2 per cent higher, despite falls for the other major bank stocks, as it held its annual general meeting.

Westpac chairman John McFarlane said he hoped the bank would be able to pay more “consistent” dividends in future, after payouts were cut due to a record fine over anti-money laundering breaches and the COVID-19 pandemic.