SYDNEY, AAP – A big slide in CSL shares was keeping the Australian market lower despite investors feeling good about the latest jobless figures.

CSL shares plunged 8.17 per cent after selling $6.3 billion in new stock for a $16.4 billion takeover of pharmaceutical group Vifor Pharma of Switzerland.

The eight per cent drop is equal to the discount buyers of the new stock received.

The market was a little higher after November job figures showed Australia’s jobless rate has fallen to 4.6 per cent.

The 0.6 per cent improvement comes after the latest round of coronavirus lockdowns ended.

Yet the indices’ upswing did not last as CSL and energy stocks proved the biggest disappointments.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 23.1 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 7304 points at 1215 AEDT on Thursday.

The All Ordinaries was lower by 20 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 7616.2 points.

US markets closed higher after investors felt confident the US Federal Reserve’s latest decisions would control inflation.

The central bank will ease monthly bond purchases at twice the previous pace, and tipped three rate hikes next year.

The Nasdaq climbed 2.15 per cent. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones each gained more than one per cent.

On the ASX, technology shares followed the Nasdaq and were the best category.

Financial software vendor Bravura Solutions added four per cent to $2.57.

Qantas forecast a loss of more than $1.1 billion from a lockdown-plagued half but says it has made inroads in reducing debt.

The carrier blamed months of coronavirus lockdowns for the estimated first-half loss in underlying earnings. The earnings are due February.

Shares were down 0.62 per cent to $4.84.

Gains for the banks just about offset losses for the miners.

ANZ Bank held its annual general meeting and was down 0.29 per cent to $27.51. Westpac dropped half a per cent to $20.88 a day after its gathering with investors. The Commonwealth and NAB each had gains of no more than one per cent.

In mining, BHP fell despite the competition watchdog clearing the sale of its petroleum business to Woodside. Shares were down 1.18 per cent to $40.58.

Fortescue improved by 1.15 per cent to $18.85. Rio Tinto lost 0.34 per cent to $98.01.

Bookmaker PointsBet has been allowed to offer sports betting in an eighth US state.

The company will offer online and mobile betting in Virginia after authorities allowed PointsBet to partner with racing operator Colonial Downs.

Shares were up 5.27 per cent to $7.19.

The Australian dollar was buying 71.77 US cents at 1215 AEDT, higher from 71.16 US cents at Wednesday’s close.