THE market scorched a path to another record yesterday as China-mad overseas institutions rushed to buy in the run-up to the new year. The Hang Seng Index climbed 245.92 points, 2.33 per cent, to 10,814.78 - the third record in a row - on a thinned-down turnover of $8.88 billion. ''It is a question of people wanting to buy before the end of the year. Most people don't see it coming down next year,'' said Morgan Grenfell sales director David Lavington. ''A lot of investors are in the market not necessarily because of its pricing but because of its China factor.'' Brokers said foreign funds continued to lead the buying in the market, which saw little selling pressure as investors placed their bets on the mainland economy. ''The feeling is, why wait?'' said Barclays de Zoete Wedd assistant director Nial Gooding. American and Japanese funds continued to dominate the market, according to brokers. But there was no screaming excitement. Sentiment was ''quietly confident'', said Mr Gooding. ''It didn't feel like a strong market,'' he said. ''Nobody is wildly excited.'' Brokers took the record-breaking run in their stride. ''It's nothing too exciting. It's happened too many times in the last three months,'' said Mr Lavington. Brokers expect the index to smash through 11,000 before the end of the week. ''The market now finds it easy to go up but hard to go down,'' said PBI Securities sales director Ivan Leung, who expects no resistance before 12,000. ''No major profit-taking will take place until it hits 11,000,'' said Sassoon Securities assistant general manager Michael Ng Wai-ming.