THE Hang Seng Index remained relatively quiet yesterday despite a flow of frantic selling of Hopewell started Tuesday. The main index shed a meagre 2.17 points, or 0.02 per cent, to close at 9,301.65 points. Turnover dropped from Tuesday's revised $3.2 billion to $2.56 billion. Brokers said investors were sidelined ahead of a series of corporate results amid the absence of other news. The index was dragged down by the selling of Hopewell in the morning and touched the intra-day low at 9,244.92 points in early trade. It gradually picked up with the morning close at 9,277.24 points, down 26.58 points, or 0.29 per cent. The afternoon session saw the index pushed up by bargain hunters and futures activities with the Hang Seng Index hitting the day's high at 9,312.02 points. While Hopewell plunged further yesterday following its slump on Tuesday, it received some support when it dropped to the day's low at $5.50 yesterday. 'The buyers are mixed. Some sellers on Tuesday were found on the buying queue today [Wednesday],' a broker said. Another broker said there was genuine selling of Hopewell yesterday and he believed it received support because of the short-selling of some investors on the previous day. Hopewell was down 10 cents to close at $5.70 in heavy turnover of $193.8 million. It was the most active stock amid relatively quiet trading yesterday. Brokers said some large firms had downgraded Hopewell even before Tuesday. But market players were alerted when Peregrine, which was renowned for its close relationship with Hopewell, adjusted its recommendation of Hopewell from hold/buy to hold/sell on Tuesday. A broker said market players were alarmed [on Tuesday] when they found the adjustment on the daily focus issued by Peregrine in the morning, but added many large firms were ready to dump the stock. 'There are a lot of large firms selling the stock. Jardine Fleming, for example, was a heavy seller [on Tuesday].' Associate director of Vickers Ballas Desmond Cheung believed the stock had bottomed off at yesterday's price level. Some brokers believed the news had caused such heavy selling because of the dull stock market during the 'summer holiday'. Market sentiment in the afternoon session nevertheless improved with the optimistic forecast of Cathay Pacific's interim result to be announced in the evening. The share added 20 cents to close at $11.60 on a turnover of $26.18 million. Swire A added 75 cents to close at $60.25 on a turnover of $61.2 million on the back of optimism over its interim result to be announced today. Also announcing its interim result yesterday, Shun Tak has dropped a significant 45 cents to $6 on a turnover of $19.95 million. The largest loser yesterday was KTP Holding which shed 24 cents to 56 cents with a turnover of $9.7 million. The shoe-maker reported a decrease of annual profit by a drastic 71 per cent on Tuesday. Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering, which announced its interim result on Tuesday, also dropped 1.25 cents to $19.55 on a turnover of $7.75 million. The company said its six-month profit had dropped 19 per cent. Priscilla Ng, senior manager of OCBC Securities, said market players were cautious ahead of other corporate results. 'The market was relatively dull today [Wednesday].' Vickers Ballas director Elvic Ng said the US market had failed to provide direction to the market and investors were uncertain about the interest rate cut in Germany. The Dow Jones Industrial Index closed unchanged at 4,693.32 points on Tuesday. Investors also were waiting for the US economic figures to be released today and tomorrow. The market also was optimistic about selective company results such as Wing Hang Bank and Swire, he said. Mr Ng believed the market would be kept in narrow range between 9,200 to 9,500. A dealer of Dao Heng Securities, Low Kok-keung, said the support of 9,200 would be strong. The market was particularly optimistic about the the company results of banks, he said. The finance sector bucked the downward trend yesterday with the Hang Seng finance sub-index added 56.45 points, or 0.63 per cent, to close at 9,023.41 points.