The slide in Hong Kong stocks over the past week has seen a number of brokerages cut back their end-of-year Hang Seng Index forecasts, but most predict the bull market will soon regain its strength. A survey of 10 brokerages produced an average forecast of 15,160 points for the index come December 31, about 10 per cent higher than yesterday's close. The forecasts ranged from a relatively bullish 16,000 to an outright bearish 12,000. Four houses said they had reduced their forecasts in the past week as the regional currency turmoil rocked the market. The most optimistic houses were Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, Nikko Research Center, BZW Securities Asia and Bullish Securities, all of which plumped for a 16,000 target. Deutsche Morgan Grenfell head of research Victor Kwok Wing-tai said the brokerage was sticking to its January forecast. 'If you look at the fundamentals, nothing has changed. We are almost towards the end of the selling.' Nikko said it was holding to its 16,000 target as an increase in US interest rates was not likely for some time yet. Analyst Steven Thompson said: 'What has happened has been a combination of a little bit of frothiness in the market and the currency tumble down south. 'This downward movement has allowed us to be more comfortable with our long-term target.' DBS Securities was also optimistic, saying it was keeping its 15,700 forecast. Director of research Percy Au-young said: 'Our fair value for the year-end is 15,700 and I see this remains sound despite the market decline.' SocGen-Crosby Securities said it was maintaining 15,500 as its target, as the current turmoil that rocked the market was unjustified. Amsteel Securities was maintaining its end-of-year target at 15,400 for the same reason. G.K. Goh Securities made one of the largest reductions in its forecast, saying it cut back its target from 18,000 at the start of the year to 15,000. SBC Warburg said it had scaled down its forecast from 15,000, set last month, to a fair value of 14,000. Schroder Securities Asia gave the most pessimistic forecast, paring its target to 12,000, with a 'bad-case scenario' of 10,800. Head of research Mark Simpson said the key issues behind the decision were higher domestic interest rates and the chance of higher US interest rates.