Hong Kong investors are expecting a stock market drop today to kick off a wildly volatile week, given the anxiety that pledges to beat the credit crunch - made at the weekend by many major countries - will fall short. Observers said the local market's focus would be on the effectiveness of a global rescue initiative. On Saturday, the Group of Seven industrialised countries pledged to take steps to unfreeze credit and money markets, signalling even greater infusions of public funds to the banking system, but did not announce concrete measures. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 8 per cent in the first minutes of trading - nearly 700 points at one point - before rebounding and closing down 128 points, or 1.5 per cent. In the coming week, market watchers predict, the benchmark Hang Seng Index will probably fluctuate between 14,000 and 15,500 points. A return to stability is expected by the end of the year or early next year. 'A 1,000-point bounce a day will be a commonplace amid such a chaotic market, as it needs time to digest all the new information,' said Ben Kwong Man-bun of the KGI Asia financial group. The Hang Seng has plummeted 46.8 per cent this year to close at 14,796 points on Friday - down 53.2 per cent from its peak. Analysts advised investors - who are agonising over the plummeting market but tempted to buy 'bargains' - to be cautious. 'In a reasonable market, the current level would be worth buying back into ... but now it's a panic sell-off,' said Kenny Tang Sing-hing of Tung Tai Securities. 'That makes technical analysis pointless.' It would not be surprising to see the Hang Seng drop to the 12,000 level if the crisis continued, Mr Kwong said. Mr Tang said the index would find technical support at the 13,000 to 14,000 level, which it hit during the Sars crisis. He did not rule out the possibility of the index touching 12,000. Ricky Tam Siu-hing of Champlus Asset Management said wild swings were a feature of the final stages of a bear market. As the US corporate earnings season got into full swing next week, the market would rebound if any better-than-expected results were announced, he said. But Liao Qun, an economist at Citic Ka Wah Bank, said doubts still hung over the effectiveness of the state rescue moves as last week's co-ordinated interest-rate cuts from central banks failed to restore confidence. 'Governments need to be quick in delivering their pledges and taking concrete measures to boost confidence,' Mr Liao said.