SPECULATION over expansionary moves by HSBC Holdings added a bit of spark to pre-Easter trading, traditionally one of the quietest trading weeks of the year. HSBC Holdings enjoyed its biggest one-day gain of the year on Wednesday, advancing $9, or 3.89 per cent to $240. This in turn helped drive the Hang Seng Index (HSI) up 2.39 per cent to 11,314.46 on Wednesday. Profit-takers moved in on HSBC on Thursday morning, knocking $6 off its price, but in the afternoon the counter had regained most of its lost ground, to close the week at $239. With markets shut for holidays on Monday and Friday, the HSI gained 261.78 points in only three days, to close out the week up 2.36 per cent at 11,342.02. The average daily turnover was $5.6 billion. Brokers said the tone of trading was often set by Tokyo, whose Nikkei-225 Index had gained 4.59 per cent by Thursday in anticipation of an economic stimulus package announced on late Thursday, after Hong Kong's market had closed for the week. But individual stocks also proved market movers this week. On Tuesday, Citic Pacific shed 3.5 per cent to $26 following a report that ministerial restructuring in Beijing could diminish the company's executive influence in China. The counter closed the week down another 25 cents at $25.75. On Thursday, China Telecom enjoyed a rally, rising 3.85 per cent to $16.15 ahead of results announcements on Tuesday. On April 23, the company's six-month post-listing moratorium on asset injections expires. Thus the market is expecting announcements soon on expected acquisitions of mainland cellular operations. But the biggest mover of the week was HSBC, which was responsible for $3.73 billion in turnover during the week on the back of the planned Citicorp-Travelers merger. Those plans re-ignited speculation that HSBC would also seek out a major investment bank and/or insurance group to partner in the United States. Gordon Crosbie-Walsh, a vice-president at Salomon Brothers, commented after the market closing on Thursday: 'Just before the Easter holiday is the third most quiet trading day, so most don't like to deal. 'Still, today overseas orders were quite active.' Looking ahead, brokers said the land auction on April 22 would set the tone for post-Easter trading. A commercial site in Tsim Sha Tsui and a residential site in Shau Kei Wan will go on the block at that time. Trading in Japan will also have an effect. So far, the market seems undecided on the impact of planned cuts there. The Nikkei closed down by less than half of a percentage point on Friday after dipping further in earlier trading.