NOMURA'S lifting of its Hong Kong weighting yesterday built a strong counter-force to the fall in momentum caused by Morgan Stanley's downward re-rating. The Japanese institution raised its Hong Kong weighting to eight per cent from six, compared with a benchmark of three. ''That at least showed that not everybody took their cue from Morgan Stanley,'' said one broker. DBS Securities dealing director Teresa Wong Shue-yung said: ''Morgan Stanley's re-rating has created chances for Japanese investors to hunt for bargains.'' Struggles between bargain-hunters and profit-takers resulted in a choppy market, with the Hang Seng Index rolling up and down. ''There were many traders in the market making use of the situation, created by Morgan Stanley reducing their weighting on Hong Kong, to do short-term trading,'' said Sun Hung Kai Securities executive director Larry Tam Kwong-lau. ''The market has no direction, although some optimism over the Sino-British political talks gave it a lift towards the end,'' he added. However, the force of sellers finally overwhelmed the market, costing the index 71.49 points, 0.76 per cent, to close at 9,263.94. Turnover was a buoyant $6.60 billion, is much lower than Thursday's $8.13 billion. The market remained cautious before the meeting between US President Bill Clinton and Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, due last night Hong Kong time, and news from the 16th round of Sino-British talks, Mr Tam said. Brokers said that the outcome of these two events would dictate market movement next week. Yesterday, the index opened at about 9,321, down about 14 points on Thursday's close. After a quick slide to 9,250 in the first half hour, it rebounded to the day's high of 9,360.1 by about 11.30 am, only to plummet rapidly again to close the morning session at 9,256.94. The lunch break did not calm the pessimism, with the index continuing its dive in the early afternoon to the day's low of 9,193.04 half an hour before the close. From then on, news of China's hopes for some breakthrough in the 16th round of negotiations made the index spring up to the day's close. The Hang Seng sectoral sub-indexes all weakened. Finance dipped 72.65 points to 7,664,86. Utilities eased 26.08 points to 11,347.52. Property lost 186.74 points to 15,849.59, and commercial and industrial stocks fell 47.64 points to 7,060.07. In the futures market, Nomura bought into weakness yesterday after having sold out in the past days, according to a market source. Seapower's securities arm was also among the bargain hunters. But Morgan Stanley, Salomon Brothers, Wardley and Sun Hung Kai sold some futures, the source said. Futures were trading at a small discount early on, which caused selling pressure in the spot market, but hopes of a breakthrough in the Sino-British talks made the futures index jump 100 points, said Peregrine Derivatives head of derivatives marketing and research Suni Goonetillake. The Hang Seng Index November futures contract ended the day up 35 points at 9,285. On individual stocks, Li & Fung recorded unusually high turnover of $123.82 million as the ninth busiest stock. That compared with $985,000 on Thursday. The high volume was lifted by a single transaction involving 25 million shares. Only 25.14 million shares were traded, according to market sources. The counter gained 2.5 cents to $4.95 yesterday. Managing director William Fung Kwok-lun said there was a private placement and a company statement carrying the details would be issued. HSBC Holdings was the heaviest traded stock, on turnover of $305.66 million. Its price sank $1 to $86. Sun Hung Kai Properties fell $1 to $56, as shares worth $291.30 million changed hands.