Hong Kong stocks climbed for the first time in more than a week yesterday, bolstered by the US Federal Reserve's promise to keep interest rates at near zero for the next two years, but analysts said the outlook still remained grim. The Hang Seng index had its biggest gain in nine months, rising 2.3 per cent or 452.97 points to close at 19783.67 points. Other Asian markets also took their cue from the Fed's unprecedented move and rebounded yesterday with Taiwan gaining 3.25 per cent and Japan up 1.05 per cent. The Federal Reserve pledged for the first time to keep its benchmark interest rate to near zero at least until the middle of 2013 to boost the weak US economy. The Fed also said it was 'prepared to employ' additional tools to bolster the US economy which is hobbled by weak hiring and household spending. Fidelity's Asia Pacific chief investment officer, John Ford, said the rebound in stocks in developed country markets, including the US, was just a 'relief reaction' to the Fed's announcement about prolonged low interest rates. Despite yesterday's rally, Ford said corporate earning forecasts in the US and other developed economies would be lower than expected because their underlying fundamentals were still weak, compared with the emerging markets. In Hong Kong, the banking sector, which had been among the worst hit, rose yesterday with index heavyweight HSBC Holdings gaining 3.92 per cent to close at HK$69 before a technical problem which triggered a suspension of trading in HSBC shares and six other stocks. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange said yesterday its regulatory disclosure website was interrupted after hackers crashed the site and forced the suspension of trading in shares of seven firms with a combined market value of HK$1.5 trillion. 'It's a relief and we're in a better mood today, although there's a suspension of trading in certain stocks,' said Simon Yung, a director and head of warrants sales for Standard Chartered Bank. 'The issuers of warrants have started to trade and make markets again. The spreads [of warrants] are tighter.' Hong Kong's usually buoyant listed derivatives market recorded a six-month low turnover, and both issuers and warrant holders lost billions over the past week. Yung estimated about HK$1 billion evaporated in the listed warrants market and HK$440 million in the callable bull/bear contracts market. The turnover in warrants and callable bull/bear contracts recovered yesterday and amounted to more than HK$12 billion. Investors were spooked by the US losing its top-notch AAA rating from Standard & Poor's and a deepening of the euro-zone debt crisis, selling out their holdings in risk assets such as equities and commodities. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said yesterday that the global economic and inflation outlook had become more uncertain, given the weakened economic prospects of the US and the uncertainties surrounding the European economies due to the sovereign debt problems. Despite low valuation of stocks and strong corporate earnings, the Hong Kong market was hit badly, plunging to post-financial-crisis lows. H-shares are trading on average at nine times 2011 earnings, according to Lorraine Tan, director of research for Asia at Standard & Poor's Equity Research. She said yesterday's recovery was temporary, adding that there would be more volatility in the next few months. 'I wouldn't be surprised if we're in the bear market now,' said Tan. 'The [trading] activities would be low in the next few months.'