Hong Kong stocks yesterday bludgeoned their way past the 16,000-point level on buying in interest-rate sensitive sectors as investors cheered favourable economic data from the United States. The Hang Seng Index closed at 16,080.34, up 223.27 points or 1.4 per cent but off a morning high of 16,222.51. Turnover was HK$11.26 billion, up from $9.27 billion on Wednesday with fresh signs of improving sentiment. 'Everyone is happy with the market up 200 points on expanded volume,' said Scott Blanchard, head of Asian sales trading for ABN Amro. 'It is tough to walk away from the market without feeling a little better. We are seeing some foreign institutional buying.' Keenly awaited data from the US showed core consumer prices rose only 0.1 per cent last month, increasing hopes the Federal Reserve will not hit global stocks with another rate-rise body blow at its June 27 meeting. 'There is a whole rerating of the market. It is all very much led by sentiment on interest rates,' said Vivian Kwok, head of research at Sassoon Securities. 'We are not expecting the US to raise interest rates more than 25 or 50 basis points this year.' Cheung Kong extended its gains from Wednesday after shareholders cleared chairman Li Ka-shing's plan to increase his stake beyond 35 per cent. This normally triggers a general offer. The counter rose 2.12 per cent to close at $84. 'When it was trading around $70 a couple of weeks ago it was a super buy, but it is still a buy now,' said Ms Kwok, who may soon revise upwards her nearly $100 estimate of Cheung Kong's net asset value. H shares joined in the rally, with the sector's index rising 2.81 per cent to end 12.19 points stronger at 446.02. 'There was some late rotational buying from investors who think blue chips are likely to face resistance,' said Kenny Tang Sing-hing, Tung Tai Securities associate director. Leading the H-share pack were Beijing Datang Power, which jumped 14.18 per cent to $1.69, its high for the year, and Shandong International Power Development, which soared 11.11 per cent to $1.10. The counters were in action on reports that some mainland provinces were experiencing power shortages amid the economic growth. That raised investors' hopes that the authorities would buy more electricity from the listed companies. However, unlisted providers were more likely to benefit as they sold power at cheaper rates, said Vincent Chan, China strategist for HSBC Securities. 'The power stocks are cheap but airlines are a better play in a cyclical upturn,' said Mr Chan, who likes China Eastern Airlines, which rose 7.92 per cent to $1.09. Motherboard maker Zida Computer Technologies slumped to close at 96 cents on its main board debut, a 10.28 per cent discount to its offer price of $1.07 after a bright $1.22 start. 'The market is still quite cautious about the new shares,' Mr Tang said.