Gains in China Mobile gave Hong Kong's stock market a slight lift yesterday as investors chose to ignore political tensions between Washington and Beijing. The Hang Seng Index closed 43.56 points, or 0.32 per cent, firmer at 13,293.11 on a meagre turnover of HK$7.61 billion. 'Ahead of the long weekend a lot of investors are sidelined,' Phillip Securities research head Louis Wong Wai-kit said. Investors were also playing it safe before the release of United States first-quarter gross domestic product figures today, he said. 'I hope the release of the GDP figures will provide clues as to the near-term direction of the [Hong Kong] market,' Mr Wong said. 'The market will look for evidence to see if the US economy is bottoming out and if the rate cuts in the first quarter were enough to lift the US economy from its woes.' The US Federal Reserve astounded global markets on January 3 with a surprise 50-basis-point interest-rate cut. Three more cuts since then have slashed a further 150 basis points from the key federal funds rate. Increasingly heated exchanges between the US and China over arms sales to Taiwan failed to dampen investor appetites for China-related stocks. China Mobile climbed 1.33 per cent to $37.90 while the red chips outperformed to end 1.62 per cent higher. The H-share index gained just 0.2 per cent but is still 24.49 per cent up year on year. Analysts said there was little risk of rising tensions causing panic in the China sector. SG Securities China research head Laura Luo said a supply glut of A shares from government-held holdings posed a greater threat to the China rally than tensions across the Taiwan Strait. 'I wouldn't say a major crash would be triggered by that kind of tension but some periodic jitters will occur,' Ms Luo said. She said the 'China growth' story remained a good bet for investors. 'By now, investors are more convinced by the China domestic story than before and when you compare China with other countries in the region, China does appear as a safe haven,' she said. Nonetheless, Primasia Investment Services director Edmond Yip Shui-key said investors could use the squabble as an excuse to take profits. He also said that with China's markets shut for holidays next week, investors would find little movement in the China-related stocks in Hong Kong. Tingyi, the mainland instant noodle market leader, plunged 15.82 per cent to $1.17. Mr Wong was not surprised and said the stock had been hit by profit taking. 'There was optimistic anticipation for its results,' he said. Property stocks outperformed the market, with the sub-index rising 0.73 per cent. Mr Wong expressed surprise, given a series of downgrades to hit the sector but said the future did not bode well for property developers or investment firms. 'I expect the property sector to continue to underperform the market at least throughout the third quarter because of rising unemployment and deflation,' Mr Wong said. 'It's simply a matter of overestimating prices and the recovery - it hasn't materialised.'