The S&P 500 was little changed and the Dow Jones closed lower after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank was still not considering raising interest rates.
The regulator said the US job market still had “some ground to cover” before it would pull back the economic support provided since the pandemic took hold.
In Australia, NSW reported its highest number of daily virus infections from the current outbreak, 239.
People in Sydney and surrounds remain in lockdown until August 28.
In ASX company news, Priceline Pharmacy owner Australian Pharmaceutical Industries has rejected a takeover offer from Wesfarmers.
API said the $687 million offer for all shares, made earlier this month, undervalued the company.
Wesfarmers offered $1.38 per share.
API shares were up 0.88 per cent to $1.42.
Wesfarmers shares were down 0.24 per cent to $61.40.
Macquarie Group held its annual general meeting and trimmed its dividend payout range.
This was despite a rise in first-quarter profit.
Shares were little changed at $156.72.
The investment group was doing better than the big four banks.
They were all lower. NAB was worst and dropped 0.42 per cent to $25.80.
Sleep apnoea specialist Resmed extended its record share price to $36.16.
The feat comes prior to reporting four quarter earnings on August 5.
Shares in bookmaker PointsBet were in a trading halt after the company said it would raise $400 million.
The funds will help expand operations in US sports betting and internet gaming.
Shares last traded at $11.29.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.65 US cents at 1200 AEST, higher from 73.60 US cents at Wednesday's close.