Hong Kong shares jumped 2.58 per cent yesterday, driven by hopes that an extended rally in HSBC would lift all blue chips. The Hang Seng Index gained 243.58 points to 9,677.57, its highest close since January 27. On Tuesday, HSBC was largely alone in its 5.1 per cent gain but yesterday it was joined by other blue chips such as Sun Hung Kai Properties and Hutchison Whampoa. HSBC gained a further 2.42 per cent to take it to $211, its highest level since May 11 last year. Brokers said the bullish sentiment towards HSBC was causing traders to cover short positions in other stocks. Sun Hung Kai Securities research head Gilbert Chu Kwok-tsu said: 'The strength of HSBC is pulling the other blue chips along.' Bullish brokers took heart from the uptick in turnover, which hit $5.3 billion, compared with an average of $4.26 billion this year. 'It shows every sign of going higher in the short-term,' one broker said. Some brokers said there had been positive re-ratings of HSBC after the bank briefed analysts on Tuesday night. The buying was mostly institutional through United States brokers such as Merrill Lynch, in contrast to Tuesday when healthy interest from retail investors was also present. One analyst who attended Tuesday night's briefing predicted the bank's shares could rise to $250. 'There was a strong consensus coming out of the meeting that the bank had been too conservative with its provisioning and that the shares could move higher.' Goldman Sachs analyst Roy Ramos has told clients that HSBC had made the bulk of necessary provisioning. 'On balance, we are encouraged by these results and by the realistic provisioning for non-performing loans in Hong Kong and Asia,' he said. Dicam (HK) chief investment officer Ambrose Chang Chung-kwong said the bank could run out of steam below $220 as its valuation became less attractive. 'The hopeful outlook about the US listing and consolidation of shares has been priced into the shares. There will be some upside but it will be limited in the short term,' he said. One broker noted that once again the Lunar New Year break had produced a marked change in investor sentiment. The February futures contract finished at 9,700 points, a 330-point gain and a 22.43-point premium to the cash market. The March contract ended at 9,655, a 335-point gain and a 22.57-point discount to the cash market. Turnover in the two contracts was well balanced before today's expiry of the February note.