Hutchison and Cheung Kong led the stock market once again yesterday, powering a 1.54 per cent rally. The Hang Seng Index capped a 722.96-point rise on Wednesday by adding 227.33 points yesterday, to 14,941.19. Investors recently worried that blue chips were heading towards the 12,000-point level have seen them recover to just below the 15,000 level. Leading the gainers were the two Li Ka-shing companies. Hutchison leapt 3.61 per cent to HK$93.25 on news that it would take about 10 per cent of China Unicom's share offering. Cheung Kong, which owns 49.99 per cent of Hutchison and yet trades at a persistent discount, rallied 4.91 per cent to $74.75. The two counters boosted the Hang Seng Index by 99 points, accounting for 43.54 per cent of overall gains. However, gains were broad-based, with many smaller counters joining in the upside. 'I think people continue to feel good about corporate activities among global cellular players,' said an analyst at Vickers Ballas. 'The announcement of [Hutchison] joining with Unicom to expand in China really helped Cheung Kong and [Hutchison] . . . and we see smaller companies already rebounding.' Eight blue chips rose by more than 3 per cent, with Henderson Investment topping the charts with a 7.95 per cent boost to $4.75. Hutchison's announcement on Unicom follows news that Orange - sold in October last year to Mannesmann - was being bought by France Telecom for 47 per cent more than Mannesmann paid. The deal helped spur telecommunications stocks across the globe. China Telecom, for instance, has added 11.9 per cent in the past two days. H shares and red chips were also big gainers, rising 3.48 per cent and 1.86 per cent, respectively. 'Airlines and petrochemicals are doing well,' said South China Securities director Alan Pau. He said petrochemicals were cheap with Yizheng Chemical, for example, trading on eight times forward earnings. Airlines were a key beneficiary of the mainland's expected entry into the World Trade Organisation, he said. The day's biggest losers were the seven Nasdaq stocks trading in Hong Kong, which all overshot Wednesday's 1.69 per cent drop on the Nasdaq stock market. Turnover was $11.66 billion, due partly to further portfolio changes on the back of Morgan Stanley Capital International adjustments effective on Wednesday. Analysts said the gains could crumble if a United States wages report due later today pointed to further inflationary pressures.