Hong Kong stocks edged up to another record close yesterday as blue chips paused for breath after a strong rally on Monday drove the Hang Seng Index to its first finish above the 18,000-point level. The index settled with a gain of 8.83 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 18,301.69. 'The market seesawed in a very narrow range,' KGI Asia associate director Ben Kwong Man-bun said. The index peaked at 18,397.57, setting a new intraday high that was slightly above Monday's record of 18,350.61. Citic Pacific finished 4.39 per cent ahead at HK$47.50 after the company agreed to buy more than US$80 million of equipment from Lucent Technologies to help develop its mainland fibre-optic network. 'Citic is transforming itself from a property to a technology stock,' Delta Asia Securities research manager Ricky Tam Siu-hing said. The stock was also boosted by comments from chairman Larry Yung Chi-kin that the optical fibre network was expected to produce a profit next year. Hutchison closed higher after the company announced it would develop an Internet portal for the transport industry with Oracle Corp of the United States. Hutchison rose 0.67 per cent to $150, while Cheung Kong - which holds a 49.97 per cent stake in Hutchison - jumped 2.58 per cent to $119. A few lagging property counters made strong gains as investors bought into their relatively cheap valuations. Amoy Properties leapt 6.66 per cent to $4.80 and Henderson Investment gained 3.91 per cent to $6.65. HSBC failed to perform - dropping 1.58 per cent to $93 - after Monday's gain led some analysts to hope lagging counters would rally to push the index higher. Cable & Wireless HKT fell 2.46 per cent to $21.75 ahead of the board meeting to decide whether it would recommend shareholders to accept the takeover bid by Pacific Century CyberWorks. CyberWorks lost 2.44 per cent to $19.95 after rising on hopes of further developments by the company. 'The deal is okay but people have been waiting for other things to happen,' Mr Tam said. Despite yesterday's gains, brokers said overall market sentiment was weak, with turnover low at $11.89 billion. Of the stocks traded, 456 declined and 239 rose. 'The index is holding firm but the second liners are under pressure,' OSK Securities research manager Alex Wong said. Blue chips could soon correct if market sentiment remained weak, brokers said. 'We could see a correction as early as [today],' Mr Wong said.