The party over Beijing's huge step towards World Trade Organisation entry was short-lived yesterday as investors returned to the grim task of dumping their former technology darlings. Players were unconvinced by Wednesday's rally on Wall Street, with the Hang Seng Index closing 12.92 points, or 0.09 per cent, easier at 13,921.06, losing a gain of 316.73 points made soon after opening. Decliners trounced advancers by 526 to 104. Traders had been expecting a substantial upswing in sentiment after news that the United States House of Representatives had passed a resolution giving Beijing permanent normal trading relations status, a key milestone in the mainland's 13-year battle to enter the WTO. 'We have been waiting for this news for so long. But we didn't see any impact on share prices,' Celestial Asia Securities director Josephine Hui Suet-ming said. The vote was already factored in and buy-shy investors were in no mood to take new positions after having their fingers burnt in the market's 23.86 per cent decline since its March 28 peak, brokers said. 'It is a bit disappointing but Asian investors had been discounting that as a fait accompli,' Nomura International trader John Lau said. 'Some US and European investors may not have and we may yet see some follow-through buying in the weeks ahead.' Technology stocks were taken to the cleaners as more bad news weighed on the embattled sector, with investors questioning why they paid such high valuations. Mainland software company Founder, which reported that its loss for last year widened to HK$223.07 million from $165.69 million in 1998, saw its shares plunge 17.3 per cent to $4.30. Rumours spread through the market about a risk-disclosure statement Pacific Century CyberWorks inserted in its offer document which will be sent to Cable & Wireless HKT shareholders today. The statement was said to refer to CyberWorks' volatile stable of Internet investments. Investors feared it could cause a fresh sell-down in CyberWorks, putting the HKT takeover in jeopardy. Ms Hui said: 'This affected the tech stocks. They collapsed quite a lot.' Chip maker QPL International lost 6.16 per cent to $9.90 after sources at the firm were quoted as saying the spin-off of its testing division ASAT on Nasdaq would be delayed because of poor market conditions. Television maker and budding technology play TCL International plunged 16.79 per cent to $2.725 while rival Skyworth Digital dived 13.51 per cent to $1.60. Their bigger peers Konka and Sichuan Changhong are planning share issues which some investors are expected to switch into. Pacific Challenge Securities research head Alan Hutcheson said institutions were also dumping technology stocks as they hunkered down in a market facing the possibility of the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates a further 75 basis points. 'People are going to consolidate their portfolios and they are not going to hold on to high-risk companies trading on extremely high valuations,' Mr Hutcheson said. The market may move sideways to down before the next rate-setting meeting of the Federal Reserve on June 28. Celestial Asia Securities research head Herbert Lau Chung-kwan said: 'Investors still look a bit jittery. I think some people want to stay away for a while until [they] get a clear picture before going back in.'