STOCKS rose strongly yesterday as growing optimism about a further US interest rate cut and technical trading helped to boost the market. The Hang Seng Index closed 99.92 points up at 9,623.79, a gain of 1.05 per cent. Turnover was modest at $3.42 billion, up from the revised $2.63 billion for Monday. Volume was moderate with 1.48 billion shares changing hands. Brokers said the main reason for the rise was the increasing likelihood that there would be another cut in interest rates when the US Federal Reserve Open Market committee meets next month. Ian Carton, at Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific, said: 'There is a continuing trend of optimism about an interest rate cut, and this is being reflected in bond yields and the rise of the Dow Jones.' Gains on Wall Street and the decline in long bond yields are signs that another rate cut is more likely. Also fuelling the rise were technical traders, boosting the market ahead of the expiry of the October futures contracts today. James Osborn, sales director at Baring Securities, said: 'Futures are very strong on the roll, and this is prompting a lot of people to buy into the cash.' An inflow of American funds also added impetus, as they have been absent over the past few days due to the Thanksgiving holiday and the weekend. The index started with a rise, climbing from the previous close of 9,523.87 to reach 9,560 after a few minutes' trading. It then drifted sideways before rallying to reach lunch at 9,578.34, an intra-day rise of 54.47 points. The afternoon saw volatile trading, with the index peaking twice before closing just off the day's high of 9,628.19. Among the 33 Hang Seng Index stocks, 22 rose, five closed unchanged and six lost value. Conglomerates and properties led the market up. The Hang Seng Commercial and Industrial sub-index, which includes conglomerates, led all indicators by adding 110.53 points, or 1.59 per cent, to 7,057.89. Hutchison Whampoa led all stocks in net gain, rising $1.30 to $43.10. Patrick Chia, analyst at Cheerful Securities, said: 'Attention is returning to the counter as investors fancy its telecommunications and container ports operations. 'The price earnings ratio is pretty high, but if the earnings are as exciting as expected in the long run it should be flying.' Swire Pacific also rallied, pulled up by improved sentiment about its subsidiaries Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering (Haeco). Swire rose $1 to $56.25, Cathay climbed 10 cents to $11.30 and Haeco rose 55 cents to $20.10. Haeco seemed to have gained on a leak that it was setting up an $800 million joint venture with Britain's Rolls-Royce Aerospace group. An announcement was not made until 3.30pm. Among other conglomerates, Wharf gained 55 cents to $25.05, while Wheelock fell five cents to $12.35. The Hang Seng property sub-index added 221.28 points or 1.33 per cent to 16,885.32. Henderson Land Development rose $1 to $47.10, Sun Hung Kai Properties added 75 cents to $61.25 and Hysan Development rose 75 cents to $19.50. Banks also rose, with the Hang Seng finance sub-index gaining 74.19 points to 9,435.81. HSBC added 50 cents to $112 in the day's highest turnover at $378.29 million, Hang Seng Bank rose $1 to $66 and Bank of East Asia climbed 30 cents to $27.70. Television Broadcasts bucked the trend, leading all stocks in net loss for a second successive day. The media stock fell 80 cents to $27.10 after falling 70 cents on Monday. Brokers said there was a growing realisation its earnings may dissolve as revenue from domestic advertising falls. Second and third line stocks again attracted a fair share of the attention. Retailer Joyce Boutique brought out the buyers after announcing a 10.5 per cent increase in net profits on Monday. The stock surged 19 cents or 11.65 per cent to $1.82. Dickson Concepts benefited from follow through buying, rising 25 cents to $5.75. Mr Osborn said: 'There is a general feeling the high-end retailers may now have discounted in a lot of the bad news.' Technology stocks were mixed as profit takers pared back some of their recent gains. Circuit board assembler QPL International dropped 20 cents to $7.40 after rising 30 cents on Monday.