THE property sector led yesterday's surge of 229.2 points or 2.22 per cent, whipping the Hang Seng Index to still another record at 10,568.86. The results of Wednesday's land auction continued to inject adrenalin into the market, with property counters the major beneficiaries. The sector posted the biggest percentage leap among Hang Seng sectoral sub-indices, gaining 3.83 per cent or 711.73 points to 18,562.55. It also accounted for four listings in the top-10 performance chart. Institutions meanwhile were switching to stocks with high net asset value but low share prices, said PBI Securities sales director Ivan Leung. Hong Kong Land was an example of this category, with the rising price of office properties in Central, he said. ''It used to be on the weak side. Its rise and high activity also reflected the market liquidity,'' said Mr Leung. Other stocks such as New World Development, Cheung Kong, and Swire Pacific were also buying targets, said Mr Leung. Brokers said buyers also picked stocks with China development. The banking sector was also strong, led by HSBC Holdings. The Hang Seng finance sectoral sub-index put on 177.44 points or 1.94 per cent to 9,169.25. But overseas funds were now shifting away from utility stocks, said Mr Leung. Commercial and industrial stocks pushed up 150.28 points or 1.87 per cent to 8,024.88. Brokers said the spot index movement was led by the futures market. December futures was up 270 points to 10,650, on an estimated volume of 18,493, compared with the total market activity of 21,919. Confirmed total volume for Thursday was 17,360, with open interest confirmed at 33,453. ''Investors were cautious at the opening but with local institutional buyers piling in at around 10,400 and overseas buyers at around 10,500 the upward trend was confirmed,'' said Virginia Mumford of Jardine Fleming. The futures rally widened the premium to more than 150 points late in the morning. Institutional buying persisted in the afternoon and forced the December future to an all-time high of 10,760. ''Profit-taking caused a minor slide of 200 points but local investors only saw this as another buying opportunity,'' said Ms Mumford. That pushed the future back to close at 10,650, an 82-point premium. In the options market, investors took advantage of the persistently high implied volatilities and sold calls and puts in December and January. Overseas investors saw the 11,000 as the short-term resistance and sold the January 11,000 calls heavily. Hong Kong Land gained $1.90 or 8.59 per cent to $24 with the day's fifth-highest turnover of $333.11 million. Its price went up amid rumours Chinese Estates planned to acquire it or buy some of its properties, although brokers were sceptical about those rumours. Paliburg Development topped the volume list at its market debut, closing at $1.21 with the day's highest volume of 418.82 million shares and the third-highest turnover at $495.42 million. Trading in Styland Holdings resumed, only to be the day's biggest loser in percentage terms, shedding 13 cents or 13.26 per cent to 85 cents. China Resources posted the fourth-highest volume of 49.96 million shares and the eighth-highest turnover of $236.45 million, gaining 25 cents to $4.725. It was buoyed by its announced intention to obtain a separate listing for its joint venture with Shenyang Brewery. HSBC gained $1 to close at the psychologically important $100-mark. Chinese Estates Holdings repurchased $8.15 million 1993 warrants at prices ranging between $2.85 and $2.925, 2.47 million 1995 warrants at prices between $6.65 and $7.05. The counter recently saw active trading.