THERE are fewer than eight hours of trading left before the end of the year and brokers remain mixed over whether the Hang Seng Index will finish above 10,000. The index has closed above 10,000 only twice since reaching the mark for the first time in 13 months in mid-October. It has proven singularly unsuccessful in sustaining itself above the level since. Heavy resistance and low volumes have meant there has not been enough impetus for the market to move up to a higher trading range despite plenty of forecasts that it would. The interest rate cut last Friday gave many renewed hope that the index would be able to gain the desired push but sluggish holiday trading has lessened optimism. The index climbed above 10,000 briefly yesterday before sinking lower to spent the rest of the day in narrow range trading. It closed at 9,985.23, a tantalising 14.77 points short of the psychologically important mark. Tai Fook Securities research manager Elton Cheung said the market needed something substantial to keep it over 10,000. 'My feeling is that we might be at a short-term top because you don't have the fundamentals to keep the market up,' he said. Cheerful Securities analyst Patrick Chia doubted the index would have the strength to breach the level over the next two trading days. He said: 'It will be pretty quiet. The futures closed at a discount yesterday and that is a sign there is still heavy resistance around 10,000.' Most analysts said the ability of the market to breach 10,000 depended on an inflow of foreign funds. Mired in the middle of the festive season, they are unlikely to enter the market in a sizeable way until next month. Turnover yesterday fell to $2.47 billion, 30 per cent below the daily average since October. If the index does manage to end the year in five figures, it will do so more with a whimper than a bang.