Futures buoyed by overseas buyers

OVERSEAS buying of Hang Seng Index futures, combined with confirmation of an airport meeting, gave a 260-point boost to the May and June contracts in modest trading.

Fimat Futures said the performance was surprising given the poor action of bonds and equities in North America overnight. The bears were totally wiped out at the beginning of trading, the brokerage said.

Turnover was 15,777 contracts with 15,209 in May, which has 14 days to run, and 561 contracts in June.

Open interest in May rose to 33,276 contracts and in June it stood at 434 contracts.

May closed at 8,635, premium of 95 points to the cash, and June closed at 8,630.

Index options trading concentrated on out-of-the-money calls and puts in May, with selling in the 8,000 puts and buying the 9,200 calls.

Jardine Fleming said: ''The implied volatilities remained constant (around 35 per cent in the front month) in spite of the 400-point fluctuation in the futures market.'' Volume in options was a modest 1,892 lots and the open interest was 32,130.

Quite a number of investors are beginning to believe the market is strongly underpinned around these levels as selective bargain-hunting has been a strong feature.

of trading.