Hong Kong stocks made only limited gains yesterday, after late-session rumours of a share placement pulled down property counters. Red chips as a group were also sluggish, with profit-taking on recent leaders. Only HSBC stood out, surging to a record high on buying interest from Britain. The Hang Seng Index rose 16.32 points to 14,556.48. The weak advance comes despite a record high set on Wall Street, where US long-bond yields rose to above the 7 per cent level for the first time since last month. Property stocks proved most sensitive, as rumours that a property company was about to make a share placement hurt the sector late in the day. Fear of higher lending rates also weakened properties, already nervous after the Hong Kong Monetary Authority warned that measures might be needed to cool speculation. Henderson Land and Sun Hung Kai Properties were hardest hit. Delta Asia Securities research director Ricky Tam said he preferred second-line property firms such as Great Eagle, Amoy Properties and Hysan Development, which were trading at discounts to their net asset values. HSBC rose 1.32 per cent to a record $229 on buying from British institutional investors. Analysts said the listing of building societies in Britain meant that institutional investors were now under-exposed to an enlarged financial sector. To catch up, institutions were now buying stocks of more traditional British financial institutions, such as HSBC. Other Hong Kong banks were not so lucky, with Dao Heng Bank, Hang Seng Bank and Wing Lung Bank all closing lower. The rally in red-chip financial stocks continued. Citic-controlled Ka Wah Bank shares surged 18.59 per cent to $5.90 on rumours it would sell a stake to another mainland company. Union Bank, which is tied to China Merchants, was also up sharply. Leaders of the recent red-chip rally continued to see profit-taking. Shanghai Industrial fell 3.3 per cent to $43.90. Among smaller stocks, aircraft maintenance firm Haeco gained 3.26 per cent to $23.70. One broker suggested it was due to the added work the firm was having to do on Cathay Pacific aircraft. Brokers expected the market to tread water in the coming days. Mr Tam said: 'After Beijing Enterprises debuts, I think we will see the peak for red chips at this time.' BZW salesman Archie Hart said: 'A lot of good news is already in the price. It is hard to see the upside.'