Hong Kong stocks surprised brokers and analysts yesterday, surging 1 per cent to close at their highest level since February 1994. Gains were made across the board, with even utility stocks putting in a strong performance. The market opened bullishly, inspired by a rally overnight by US 30-year Treasury bonds, with yields falling to 6.89 per cent. Nikko Securities institutional sales manager Kent Rossiter said: 'Long-bond yields definitely moved in the right direction for equity investors.' The Hang Seng Index ended the day at 11,759.39, up 123.26 points. Volume was also up, registering a strong $5.82 billion, compared with a revised $4.53 billion on Thursday. Julian Ings-Chambers, assistant director of sales at BZW, said yesterday's gain appeared to be futures driven. September futures expired at the end of trade. 'Futures led the market for most of the day. And the market was shallow ahead of the [Mid-Autumn] holiday, so the gains were exaggerated,' he said. Most blue-chip counters ended higher, with property and banking stocks posting impressive gains. HSBC powered ahead, hitting a record high of $144.50 before closing at $143.50, up $1.50. Mr Ings-Chambers said buying interest from London was supporting HSBC's current surge. He said that with many brokerages re-evaluating HSBC, the stock remained fair value. Sun Hung Kai Properties also traded up to its record high of $81.50, before closing at $80.75. The firm will release final results on Wednesday and is expected to see a 7 per cent rise in net profits, according to the September issue of the Estimates Directory. Cathay Pacific's share price rebounded 20 cents to end at $12.65 after posting sharp losses on Thursday. Cathay yesterday announced a reshuffle of its senior management. Outside the Hang Seng Index, shoe manufacturers Liang Shing Holdings advanced four cents to 33 cents, a gain of 10 per cent, and KTP Holdings climbed 2.5 cents to 31.5 cents, up 11 per cent. Analysts said the initial price offering of shoe-maker Pegasus Holdings next week had put a spotlight on the industry. Star Entertainment International dived 23 cents to $1.46, down 13 per cent. The loss was the sharpest fall the firm has seen this year. Consolidated Electric Power Asia rose 30 cents to $16.50 after reports that the parent, Hopewell Holdings, was close to selling all or part of its stake. With yesterday's strong gains, the market likely would consolidate next week, broker said.