SYDNEY, AAP – Investors sold shares in most ASX categories and the market closed lower ahead of a key meeting of US Federal Reserve officials.

The ASX ended three consecutive days of gains on Thursday as materials, utilities and technology shares had the biggest drops.

Most Asian markets also closed lower, a day before US Federal Reserve officials discuss policy in the Jackson Hole Symposium.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to discuss whether the central bank will ease bond buying as the US economy recovers from the pandemic.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed lower by 40.7 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 7491.2.

The All Ordinaries closed down 39.2 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 7770.4.

The Australian dollar was buying 72.59 US cents at 1621 AEST, higher than 72.42 US cents at Wednesday’s close.