QUIET trading today is expected ahead of the Government land auction tomorrow, which will be taken by many stock and property market investors as a key test of investment confidence. Results from CITIC Pacific today and Cheung Kong, along with Hutchison Whampoa, on Thursday, will also offer investors a chance to check the pulse of Hong Kong corporate health. DBS Research director Percy Au-young said the Hang Seng Index was expected to trade sideways. A range of between 9,200 and 9,700 is forecast. Any surprises on the negative side will cause the index to re-test 9,000. Surprises on the positive side will mean the index will test 9,700, but a test of 10,000 appears unlikely. A general investor malaise has set in towards Hong Kong stocks. With earnings momentum having peaked, stocks look unattractive compared to regional counterparts on the basis of earnings growth alone. Investors appear increasingly interested in the Thai stock market. Without a big global recovery in sentiment towards equities and bonds, allowing United States stocks and bonds to rally, it will be very difficult for local stocks to make headway. Nervous investors in New York sold down US equities after the Federal Reserve rise in interest rates on Tuesday, as bond prices fell and yields rose. There was concern that the rate rise had failed to strengthen the dollar, leaving open the prospect that another rate rise could come in the near future. These falls were not expected. Morgan Grenfell Asia executive director David Lavington said last week: ''This hurt sentiment and made investors cautious.'' In Hong Kong on Friday, the Hong Kong Association of Banks raised domestic interest rates on deposits by 0.5 of a percentage point. This was followed by a number of key banks announcing the raising of their prime lending rate by a similar margin. This news, coming after the stock market closed, was fully expected and discounted by the market. Dealers on Friday were not expecting a big index move today on the back of these changes. Crosby Securities dealing director Willie Chau Wing-hung said last week: ''The rise was fully expected. To be honest there were other worries in the market keeping investors busy.'' The Robert Fleming index of Hong Kong stocks traded in London was steady on Friday after the Hong Kong stock market stopped trading. Further weakness can be expected in the investment property and property development sectors in the week as investors absorb the forecast by Peter Churchouse at Morgan Stanley of a 45 per cent decline in commercial property values by 1998. This coupled with disappointment towards banking results, after HSBC's poor showing on Monday last week, makes progress in Hong Kong stocks difficult on fundamental grounds. The worst performing sector was finance last week. The Hang Seng sub-index in the sector fell 3.51 per cent on the back of the sell-off in HSBC, down 3.83 per cent to $88, and Hang Seng Bank, down 3.21 per cent to $52.70. Property stocks were mixed. Henderson Land and Sun Hung Kai Properties were strongly up, by four per cent and two per cent, respectively. But Hongkong Land tumbled more than five per cent to $19.45, as did Hang Lung, down 3.21 per cent to $13.55 and Cheung Kong down almost three per cent to $36.70. The worst performing stock of the week was Shun Tak, down 12.46 per cent to $6.50. The best performing stock was Hongkong Telecom, up 4.17 per cent to $16.25. Today the Government announces figures for July consumer price inflation. Tomorrow is the Government land auction. A poor result here could affect market sentiment for weeks to come. A good result will provide the market with little upside as investors will transfer their worries to other concerns, including US equities, bonds and interest rates, poor interims from index stocks and uncertainty over commercial property. In the US, investors will watch for the job figures on Thursday, and on Friday they will be keenly interested in preliminary gross domestic product (GDP) growth figures for the second quarter. The Labour Department will report on the import and export indexes. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong on Friday, the Government will produce its own forecasts for GDP and inflation for the year.