Market flat after Wednesday's slump

The sharemarket recovered to close the week flat after suffering its biggest daily slump in six weeks on Wednesday.

The sharemarket recovered to close the week flat after suffering its biggest daily slump in six weeks on Wednesday.

Hopes were raised of a continuation of unprecedented global monetary stimulus that is keeping interest rates low and making equities more attractive.

In the past five trading sessions, the S&P/ASX 200 Index eeked out a 0.03 per cent gain to close the week at 5401.7 points. On Friday, the market closed 46.3 points higher.

Janet Yellen, who is expected to be the next chairman of the US Federal Reserve, said the central bank still had "more work to do", fuelling speculation that a reduction in stimulus is unlikely soon and giving global equities a boost.

Lazard portfolio manager Phil Hoffin said the timing of the taper was "the most important macro-theme for the market because it concerns the rate at which interest rates and exchange rates will normalise from the extreme levels seen after the global financial crisis".

The dollar depreciated over the week to US93.38ยข.

On the market, shares in debutante soared 220 per cent to $1.60 on their first day of trading.

Some managers are selling down portfolios to free up cash for new investments.

Widely anticipated initial public offerings include Nine Network and Dick Smith Electronics.

Information technology was the best-performing sector in the week, up 2.2 per cent, with Computershare rising 4.8 per cent to $11.15. Utilities was the worst-performing sector, down 1.1 per cent. AGL Energy lost 1.1 per cent to $15.18.

The big four banks all lost ground as investors took profits amid recent record highs for the sector.

Commonwealth Bank fell 1.6 per cent to $77.79, ANZ 1.3 per cent to $32.28, NAB 1.3 per cent to $34.30 and Westpac 0.5 per cent to $33.

Fortescue Metals climbed 6.8 per cent to $5.84. BHP Billiton dipped 0.2 per cent to $37.89, while Rio Tinto added 0.4 per cent to $65.51.

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