SHARE prices climbed higher yesterday, boosted by gains on Wall Street overnight, but the Hang Seng Index still finished short of the 10,000-point mark. The Index rose 105.88 points to 9,968.52, a gain of 1.07 per cent. Trading was done mostly by local institutions, and the lack of foreign participation was reflected in the low $3.92 billion volume. Blue chips accounted for 54 per cent of the trading, with H shares taking up six per cent of turnover, and second-line stocks accounting for 40 per cent. Brokers said that while yesterday's improvement was a step in the right direction, it fell far short of expectations. 'It was very quiet. I was expecting things to be a lot better than they were,' said a broker. Many traders said the index should have been able to break the 10,000 mark given that Wall Street rallied 58.55 points, or 1.5 per cent, on Thursday. That Hong Kong did not take off might be a sign that foreign buyers were prepared to adopt a wait-and-see attitude to the market while they dived into other regional markets. One brokerage said two major fund manager clients liquidated a sizeable portion of their Hong Kong portfolios because they were switching to Thailand and Malaysia. Those markets surged ahead recently on the back of foreign buying. Malaysia is also in favour because investors feel the Malaysian dollar may appreciate relative to the US dollar, giving them an extra currency gain. Hong Kong still lags behind world markets in recovering from last Friday's producer price index shock. Whereas Wall Street has fully recovered from that Friday's fall, Hong Kong has yet to get back above the 10,000 mark. Futures traders said the market looked extremely fragile and at one stage there were no buyers when the index looked like it might career down to the 9,800 range. Morgan Stanley and some Hong Kong institutions were seen as heavy sellers. It was only heavy buying from Peregrine in the morning and again late in the day that helped to keep the market afloat. Traders also reported a lot of local selling just below the 10,000 mark, which could be a sign that they believe the rally needs to consolidate further. The futures market ended up closing at a premium to the cash market, one of the few times this week. The big news of the day for brokers was the decision to delist Hongkong Land and Mandarin Oriental. Almost everyone had predicted it, but it still sent a shock wave through the market when it was confirmed. Dairy Farm was heavily sold off by investors following its decision to delist on Thursday. The counter fell 80 cents to $11.65 on $111.28 million turnover. Analysts said the two other delisting companies were also likely to be sold off when trading resumed on Monday. The next move in the Jardines saga will be what the company decides to do with Hongkong Land. Yesterday there was some speculation that the company might decide to sell some of its buildings in Hong Kong to raise cash to invest elsewhere, notably Singapore, where the company was rumoured to be acquiring some major sites. Hongkong Land fell 20 cents to $20.75 while Jardine Matheson gained 25 cents to $74.50. Fund managers said they were quite comfortable with the level of holdings in Hong Kong and were unlikely to be aggressive buyers again unless volumes picked up, which would indicate a further rally. Hysan Development also reported its results yesterday, which came in far below analysts' expectations.