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ASX ends week stronger despite blue-chip weakness

After a large setback on Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) edged marginally higher last week after suggestions that it is not yet the right time to begin tapering the US Federal Reserve bond-buying program.

The benchmark index closed 0.03% higher for the five days and closed at 5401.7 points following a strong trading period on Friday. Whilst Telstra (ASX: TLS), Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA), ANZ (ASX: ANZ), Westpac (ASX: WBC) and NAB (ASX: NAB) all lost ground for the week, it was the information technology sector that recognised the largest gains.

Computershare (ASX: CPU) rose 4.8% to finish at $11.15 per share whilst Integrated Research (ASX: IRI) soared 14.9% following their annual general meeting on Friday.

Chemicals and explosives manufacturer Orica (ASX: ORI) contributed to the bourse more than any other stock, adding 19.8% in value, whilst building materials supplier James Hardie (ASX: JHX) also added 13.2%. Meanwhile, CSR (ASX: CSR), Myer (ASX: MYR) and BlueScope Steel (ASX: BSL) also gained 13.4%, 13.2% and 12%, respectively.

On the other hand, utilities was the worst performing sector with AGL Energy (ASX: AGK) falling 1.1%.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.

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