The big three market movers pushed the Hang Seng Index above the 16,000-point level yesterday in anticipation of further signs that economic growth is slowing in the United States. The index finished 243.33 points, or 1.53 per cent, higher at 16,120.26 on a lower than average turnover of HK$9.07 billion, boosted by a brief rally towards the close of trade. Cheung Kong, Hutchison and China Telecom contributed most to the index - a common trio to feature in steady gains. 'It's all the ones that are supposed to be bought if institutions are mildly participating,' one sales trader said of the three. Analysts said investors were positioning themselves for good news from producer price index (PPI) figures to be released in the US later yesterday. The marketplace has been increasingly confident that interest rate rises in the US are peaking. 'I think the market is like a genie in a bottle,' said Alan Chen, head of Greater China sales and trading at Nomura Securities. 'It is waiting to come to life again,' he said. A broker with a French investment bank said: 'People were probably expecting favourable PPI figures. It's a key to where interest rates are headed so I think there is a bit of punting on the back of that'. Analysts said individual investors made up the bulk of buying. However, the still uncertain inflation picture in the US could have kept many away from making aggressive moves. 'Many people were still staying on the sidelines,' Celestial Asia Securities associate research director Herbert Lau said. 'But I guess people believe that when the market is coming back they have to go for those market leaders like Cheung Kong.' Mr Lau said no one sector shone on the day, although smaller and medium-sized banks benefited from their recent laggard performances. Wing Hang Bank jumped 4.54 per cent to $20.70, Wing Lung Bank rose 3.09 per cent to $25 and Dao Heng Bank gained 4.05 per cent to $35.90. 'A lot of them are trading at quite reasonable valuations, for example, below 1.5 times book and single-digit price-equity ratios,' Mr Lau said. In the technology arena, Pacific Century CyberWorks rebounded, leaping 4.42 per cent to close at $15.35 on a turnover of $758.33 million. Dual Nasdaq-listed counter Dell Computer moved up 4.04 per cent to $360. 'There was select buying on the tech side and a lot of people [this week] were taking big bets on CPI (consumer price index) and PPI being benign,' Mr Chen said. 'With these figures benign, you don't have to increase rates by 50 basis points or 75 basis points and that's nitro-rocket fuel for tech stocks,' he said. Now that the market has broken through 16,000 points (it last closed above 16,000 on April 14), sources believe it could trade comfortably between 15,800 and 16,500 if external factors remain positive. 'That's (16,500) the new resistance level,' one broker said.