POOR bank results further depressed the stock market yesterday as the post-earnings sell-off continued. The Hang Seng Index fell 119.51 points to close 1.26 per cent lower at 9,366.62. Trading remained quiet, with turnover at $2.87 billion. Both Hang Seng Bank and HSBC were heavily sold off and together accounted for more than half of yesterday's index fall. HSBC represented a fifth of the market turnover with $563.7 million worth of shares traded. The counter dropped 3.2 per cent, closing $3 lower at $89 and accounting for 43 points of the index drop. Hang Seng Bank fell five per cent in heavy trading to close $2.75 lower at $52.25, accounting for 29 points of the index fall. A lack of buying support ahead of a possible rise in interest rates meant there was little resistance to meet the strong heavy selling pressure in the stocks. Analysts and investors have now had more time to review the figures and the verdict has been swift. While the figures came in the middle range of expectations for the pre-tax result, most analysts were surprised by the extent of the tax bill which whittled attributable profits down to just 12 per cent. There were other concerns raised by the results, chief of which was the provisions for bad and doubtful debts. Analysts said that because of the huge write-back, there was unlikely to be any further loan loss provisioning. The GBP100 million (about HK$1.19 billion) provision for the troubled loan to Concord Leasing is also a concern to the market, and analysts especially, if it means more provisions may have to be made in the future. Analysts also said the hefty dealing profits made last year were unlikely to be repeated in the current rising interest rate environment. In spite of the one-off losses taken by Midland's treasury operations due to the bond market turmoil, analysts foresee some improvements, but not a return to the days of fat and easy profits. Rising interest rates have also started to affect the bank's bottom line as interest rate margins come under pressure. Coupled with increasing competition both in Hong Kong and Britain, analysts think it will be hard for the bank to maintain its profit margins. ''The figures are all right, but it's just a boring hold,'' said a broker. Baring Securities head of Hong Kong research Peter Rice said the impact was more on sentiment than anything else. He said the market was looking for an excuse to sell down rather than run ahead. Property remains the biggest source of uncertainty in the market, especially with a possible rate rise around the corner which will make flats much more expensive. ''The residential market has definitely got patchy,'' said Mr Rice. ''Buyers are much more selective, but in the more desirable areas the prices will stay up,'' he said. On concerns that the failure to sell some flats in Ma On Shan was depressing the overall market, Mr Rice said the development was having difficulty selling out because it was not as attractive as some of the others on offer. He said: ''The market is stuck in this narrow trading range unless we get a shift in sentiment in bond markets which could lead to a liquidity-driven rally in equity markets. ''We are still to see that eventuate.'' Trading moved in a 104-point range from 9,444.3 to 9,340.02. The morning session opened down on the back of overnight trading in London and kept heading south before recovering by lunch to close the session 89.2 points down at 9,396.93. However, sentiment weakened in the afternoon and the market again dipped to close the day near the bottom end of the trading range.