APART from the US strike against Iraq, local investors will be focusing this week on Governor Chris Patten, who will meet with British Prime Minister John Major and a number of other senior government officials to discuss Hongkong's future. Until there is any news about the high-level discussions, brokers said the market would remain volatile with the index trading in a range from 6,800 to 7,200 depending on investor sentiment. There is already speculation Britain could decide it has had enough of the prolonged discussions, which have now gone six rounds, and will pull out of the talks if no progress is made by the end of the summer. The more sanguine market watchers are confident the brief period between Mr Patten's meeting and the seventh round of Sino-British discussions in Beijing on July 5 and 6 indicates a significant resolution could be in the works. Kleinwort Benson managing director Nick Allen said that as long as the political environment loomed over the market, trading would be volatile. ''I guess when you're in the sort of market, which is being driven by non-economic events, one would see volatility because small shifts in perception would cause shifts in the market upwards or downwards,'' he said. Mr Allen added that stock markets such as those in Asia fuelled by liquidity tended to be characterised by greater volatility. South China Brokerage director Howard Gorges said with the market still sensitive to political news, investors would probably be quite cautious this week. ''If there's some bad news politically we could easily be down 100 to 150 points and the upside is similar [with good news], but I don't think the market can run away on the upside,'' he said. Vickers Ballas director Barry Yates said although the initial level of support was 6,850, a sharp drop below this barrier could easily see the index quickly slide to 6,500. Across the whole market, Luks Industrial continued to deflate, posting the week's biggest fall of 15.6 per cent to $1.73. The price is now back to the level of early December, after rising as high as $2.30 on May 5. The best performing blue chip last week was Hongkong Electric, which gained 1.72 per cent to $17.70. China Light & Power was the only other index stock to rise, climbing 0.64 per cent to $39.50. Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels was unchanged at $7.35. The largest decline was posted by Cathay Pacific, which lost 8.26 per cent to $10. Lai Sun International also had a rough week with a 6.25 per cent drop to $15 while New World fell 6.64 per cent to $19.70. HAECO was down 3.15 per cent to $30.75 but brokers believe the company will benefit from an announcement by Boeing that engine mounts on all 747s need to be modified following investigations into two 747 crashes. In a recent research report Crosby Securities estimated that HAECO would see an additional $52 million in turnover in 1993 and 1994. Cathay has already said it will modify all 32 of its 747s with Boeing picking up the tab. The utilities sector was the best-performing sub-index, dipping just 0.25 per cent while the properties sub-index tumbled 3.15 per cent.