SYDNEY, AAP – Investors are yet to rally for a third consecutive day on the ASX, although impending Chinese inflation data could change trading patterns.

The market was lower by 0.22 per cent on Thursday after broad-based rallies of about one per cent on each of the past two days.

Most share categories were lower, technology having the steepest fall of about one per cent.

Industrials were doing best and higher by 0.27 per cent.

The ASX has not followed modest gains on Wall Street. The US markets closed higher after Pfizer and BioNTech said their vaccine was able to neutralise the Omicron variant and they could deliver an upgraded vaccine in March if needed.

Chinese consumer and producer inflation data due on Thursday should be of interest to traders.

Factory-gate inflation in the country recently rose to a record high after soaring commodity prices.

Meanwhile in Australia, a sharp rebound in payroll jobs following the end of COVID-19 lockdowns in major states has slowed.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said payroll jobs rose by 0.2 per cent in the fortnight to November 13 after jumping 1.5 per cent in the previous two weeks.

On the market, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 16.8 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 7388.6 points.

The All Ordinaries was lower by 14 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 7693.2 points.

ANZ Bank has agreed to a $25 million fine for failing to give customers their entitled benefits such as rate discounts across about 580,447 accounts.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said it has started Federal Court proceedings over the failings, which took place from the mid-1990s to September 2021.

Shares were down 0.14 per cent to $27.62.

The Commonwealth Bank dropped 0.24 per cent to $97.71. NAB and Westpac were little changed.

The proposed sale of Sydney Airport is a step closer to fruition after the competition watchdog chose not to stand in its way.

The European Commission has already approved the proposal.

Shareholders are expected to meet in February to vote on the sale to a consortium of superannuation investors.

Shares were up 2.87 per cent to $8.59.

The big miners had varied results. Fortescue was up 0.38 per cent to $18.05. BHP and Rio Tinto each dropped less than one per cent.

Australia’s competition regulator says it will not oppose Seven West Media’s proposed acquisition of regional operator Prime Media.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission ruled the planned takeover will not lessen competition or choice for advertisers and consumers.

Seven shares were down almost four per cent to 61 cents.

Santos will sell a stake in its Barossa gas project, which is off the coast of the Northern Territory.

Jera, which has a stake in Santos’ Darwin LNG project, will buy a 12.5 per cent stake in Barossa for about $418 million.

Santos shares were lower by almost one per cent to $6.66.

OZ Minerals will sell stakes in two joint ventures to a subsidiary of Minotaur Exploration.

The majority stakes in the copper-gold Jericho and Eloise projects will be sold to Demetallica for $6.6 million.

OZ Minerals was up 0.59 per cent to $27.06.

The Australian dollar was buying 71.61 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 71.30 US cents at Wednesday’s close.