WALL Street's sell-off overnight hurt market sentiment yesterday, sending the December Hang Seng Index future to a discount on the cash market. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 100 points to 5,075 in disappointed sentiment as hopes of an interest rate cut faded. Trading opened into weak sentiment at 9,660 on the December contract, falling to a low of 9,640 moments later. It spent the rest of the day trying to claw back losses. By the close, the December contract was down 122 points at 9,698, a seven-point discount to the cash index. Since last Tuesday, when the contract closed at its most recent high of 9,990, the contract is off 292 points or almost 2.9 per cent. The close is the contract's lowest since November 29. January futures fell 140 points to 9,750, a premium of 44 points over cash. Since the most recent high of 10,035 last Thursday, the contract is off 285 points or 2.8 per cent. Jardine Fleming said: 'Investors' concern about the Dow in the short term was also reflected in the options markets and December puts were heavily bought.' Bulls who hold on to the view that a Lunar New Year rally is just around the corner bought out-of-the-money calls in January. The brokerage said other investors bought January 10,000 and sold 10,200 along with 10,400 calls. January implied volatility traded at about 19.25 per cent in a big leap of this yardstick. Only last week the implied volatility was at historically low levels of about 15 per cent. Activity lifted in both markets with more than 20,000 contracts in the futures and 4,127 lots in index options. In December futures, there were 15,218 contracts traded. In January futures, there were 5,198 contracts dealt as roll-over activity continued to lift. Open interest in futures saw 29,511 contracts in December and 10,350 in January. March futures remained at 172 contracts, while June stayed at 745. Implied volatility in March was about 22 per cent and in June it was about 22.5 per cent. Sentiment in equities today will be determined by the Federal Open Market Committee meeting and Wall Street overnight.