MORE overnight gains on Wall Street helped push the Hang Seng Index up 102 points to 7,606.51 yesterday. But sentiment remains weak despite growing confidence that the United States will contain inflation without a steep rise in interest rates. Brokers said the market remained jittery and were unconvinced that it had thrown off recent concern about the property sector and trade worries. Michael Ng, dealing director at Sassoon Securities, believes the market will meet buying resistance around 7,850 points. But others are hoping the buying will continue ahead of the Lunar New Year, traditionally a time for rallies. Most warn that the market remains highly volatile despite yesterday's gains on top of Monday's rise of 251.9 points. The day's turnover was $2.92 billion. James Osborn, a director of Baring Securities, said: 'We have seen some of the fear alleviated but sentiment is not positive in the short term. What we are seeing is a lack of selling interest rather than a huge buying interest.' Early trading was buoyed by a second strong performance on Wall Street as investors remained optimistic that the Federal Reserve would be less aggressive in raising interest rates. Because of the Hong Kong-US dollar peg any rise is likely to be passed on by Hong Kong's monetary authorities. On Monday, the Dow Jones Index climbed another 23.88 points following last Friday's surge of 49.46 points. The benchmark Hang Seng Index reflected the gains in early trading rising by more than 132 points in the first hour's trading. But persistent rumours about the health of Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping caused the market to drop to 7,582 points before regaining ground to close the morning's trading at 7,599.60, a morning rise of 95.36 points, or 1.27 per cent. Afternoon trading started sluggishly but quickly gained momentum with the market putting on another seven points before the close after dropping to a day's low of 7,546.24 points. H shares jumped by 8.6 per cent in the last half hour of trading. Brokers were divided about the cause of the late rally with some claiming it was based on growing confidence about the prospects of a compromise agreement between US and Chinese officials during today's trade talks in Beijing to avert economic sanctions on Chinese goods. Others put it down to a technical correction. There were gains in all sectors, led by conglomerates and utilities which rose by 137.28 points, or 1.47 per cent, and utilities, which increased by 113.08 points, or 2.06 per cent. Blue chips were some of the day's most heavily traded stocks with Cheung Kong Holdings, the territory's largest property developer, rising 10 cents to $28 on turnover of $226 million. HSBC Holdings, the banking giant, put on 75 cents to close at $79.25 cents, on turnover of $203 million, while the Bank of East Asia gained five cents to finish at $29.15 on volumes of $105 million. Hutchison Whampoa, the property to telecommunications conglomerate, put on 45 cents to end the day's trading at $27.75 on turnover of $185 million. CITIC Pacific, the China-backed conglomerate with interests ranging from airlines to telecommunications, rose 80 cents, or 5.12 per cent, to close the day at $16.40 cents.