The benchmark Hang Seng Index broke through 16,000 points for the first time as sentiment towards key property and banking stocks strengthened, pulling the wider market higher. The breakthrough, which followed another record high on Wall Street, caps five weeks of gains since the 15,000-point level was breached in late June. Last night the Dow Jones Industrial Average had powered a further 85.94 points ahead to 8,260.47 at noon, taking its lead from the bond market. The yield on the 30-year Treasury was at 6.33 per cent. Brokers and analysts were not surprised at yesterday's achievement on the local market, with most predicting further gains in coming weeks. South China Brokerage director Howard Gorges said: 'It may have some consolidation, but then it will churn higher.' The Hang Seng Index ended at 15,983.18, a gain of 211.12 points, having reached an intra-day high of 16,055.19 points. Property stocks continued to set the pace, with banking stocks a close second. Properties were aided by indications the residential market had shed some speculative excesses, while retaining strong end-user demand. Sought-after units at Cheung Kong's Vista Paradiso development last weekend, despite a slight slowdown in mortgage lending in June helped excite the market, analysts said. Henderson Land was the strongest among the blue chips, rising 4.36 per cent to $71.75. Sun Hung Kai Properties and Cheung Kong were up more than 3 per cent.