Lively trading in mid-cap technology stocks perked up an otherwise dull session in Hong Kong yesterday as investors waited on the sidelines for results announcements and the expiry of September index futures. The Hang Seng Index closed down 28.38 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 15,415.75 on a light turnover of HK$8.57 billion. 'I think people are confused - they don't know what to do,' Prudential-Bache vice-president of equities Michael Liang said. 'They don't want to take a punt. The market hasn't shown any direction, the futures [expired yesterday] so people don't want to take any risks.' Analysts also said players were inactive before the interim results of Pacific Century CyberWorks, which were released after trading. The firm reported a smaller than expected loss of $35 million. The market was led by profit-taking in HSBC, which lost 0.91 per cent to $108.50 and Hutchison, which declined 1.44 per cent to $102. Cathay Pacific lost 1.8 per cent to $13.60. The airline was hit by concerns that new direct Hong Kong-New York routes by rival carriers could negatively affect Cathay's business. However, some analysts felt this was an overreaction. Jardine Fleming Securities analyst Peter Negline said: 'I'm not too concerned. I think people saying it's way too much capacity too fast are overreacting. It's a whole new market and a whole new product which won't cannibalise existing services.' However, the real market activity was occurring away from the large-cap stocks. Mainland technology company Stone Electronic surged 28.28 per cent to $1.27. Stone reported sharply higher net profit of $286.11 million for the first six months of this year but analysts felt this was largely on the strength of an 8 per cent stake in the Nasdaq-listed mainland Internet portal Sina.com. Tai Fook Securities sales director Andrew To Koon-hung said: 'I'm not that positive on the company. They are nothing compared to Legend in quality or size.' However, Celestial Asia Securities research head Herbert Lau Chung-kwan was prepared to give Stone the benefit of the doubt. 'Stone still has a pretty good reputation in the mainland so there might be some premium built into the company. I still believe there's some hidden value in the company,' Mr Lau said. Another strong gainer yesterday was Quality HealthCare. The medical service provider jumped 20.96 per cent to $2.25 after announcing a 116 per cent increase in net profit for the first half of this year. 'The results look good. We are seeing the deregulation of the Hong Kong health care industry in the coming years and I think the company is well-positioned for that,' Mr Liang said. Blue-chip micromotor manufacturer Johnson Electric also had a strong day, closing 7.76 per cent ahead at $17.35. However, analysts cautioned that future earnings could be affected. Mr Lau said: 'It looks pretty fairly valued to me. They're pretty solid but you have to bear in mind the price of copper which has gone up this year and could [affect] their operating margin.'