A FLURRY of rumours, including reports that the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group would meet soon to discuss financing for Chek Lap Kok airport, stirred news-starved investors yesterday afternoon and prompted a strong afternoon rally. The Hang Seng Index closed up 25.08 points at 7,118.96, after dipping 64.2 points during morning profit-taking. ''The rumour came out into the market the Joint Liaison Group meetings will resume and people plunged back into the market,'' said G.K. Goh Securities dealing director Bobby Ho. There was also speculation that Wharf Holdings would have its cable television licence endorsed by China and that Hongkong Electric's scheme of control would be extended by 15 years with Beijing's blessing. After the market closed, China confirmed its approval of the Wharf licence. Wharf rose 20 cents to $20.50, while Hongkong Electric was unchanged at $18.30. Brokers said sentiment was still positive, with many investors unwilling to sell in the belief that the market might advance further after this weekend's Sino-British talks about Hongkong's political future. ''People are afraid to sell because they might miss out on the run,'' said Nomura Research institutional broker Amy Chan, who said the index had limited downside potential, with good support at 6,960 points. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wu Jianmin said the success of the talks, which start today in Beijing, depended on both sides abiding by existing bilateral agreements. Profit-taking took the index to an intra-day low of 7,029.68 by 11 am before it recovered to 7,051.8 at lunchtime. Renewed optimism took the index further 67.16 points higher in the afternoon. Hutchison Whampoa was the most heavily traded issue for the third consecutive day. It attracted turnover of $304.9 million, 7.1 per cent of the $4.28 billion total. The stock climbed 20 cents to $20.20. The weakness of HSBC Holdings and Hang Seng Bank continued, each losing 50 cents to $71 and $56.50, respectively. Henderson Land, China Light and Great Eagle Holdings were the only other blue chips to close lower. Great Eagle fell 7.5 cents to $4.10 after it confirmed the sale of London Plaza in Kowloon for $810 million to a consortium led by the New China Hongkong Group and China Resources. The laggard Jardine group was in demand, with Dairy Farm up 50 cents, four per cent, to $12.90. Jardine Strategic added 10 cents to $25.60 while Jardine Matheson was unchanged at $58.50. Kader Investment, the subject of a takeover headed by Shougang Corp and Mr Li Ka-Shing, jumped a further 16.8 per cent, $1.90, to $13.20 on heavy volume of $96.4 million.