Hong Kong shares fell on Tuesday with investors taking profits on Chinese energy and power counters and awaiting direction from major corporate earnings later this month.
China shares eked out slim gains in a choppy Tuesday trade, buoyed by industrial and railway-related sectors on optimism there will be increased state spending.
By midday, the Hang Seng Index was down 1.5 percent at 22,131.95 points and appeared on track for a fourth straight daily loss. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 1.8 percent.
The CSI300 rose 0.2 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.1 percent at 2,087.27 points. Both swung between negative and positive territory in the morning trade.
"Investors may take the chance to reallocate their portfolios across the board," said Linus Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong.
"The market may now take a sideline attitude. Investors were cautious so the trading was locked in a range," Yip said.
On Tuesday, Chinese railway counters rose after Beijing pledged to spend 660 billion yuan ($107.8 billion), more than originally planned, in 2013 to support rail construction.
China Railway Construction rose 1.7 percent in Hong Kong, while its Shanghai was up 2.5 percent.
In Shanghai, Daqin Railway jumped 5.3 percent and Guangshen Railway gained 2.5 percent.
Building material counters were also stronger on hopes that railway construction will buoy demand. Anhui Conch Cement rose 0.9 percent in Shanghai.
Chinese internet and technology counters extended recent gains after Beijing's pledge to boost investments in fiber and wireless networks to stimulate consumption and drive economic growth.
In Shanghai, Yonyou Software rose 1.3 percent, while China Software jumped 5.7 percent to its highest since July 2009.
Shares in Everbright Securities dropped the maximum 10 percent limit in Shanghai after trading resumed for the first time since Friday, when a glitch in the brokerage's trading system caused its accidental purchase of more than $1 billion of mainland shares.
China Oilfield Services Ltd jumped 5.9 percent in Shanghai and reached a five-year high in Hong Kong with a 1.6 percent gain there after the company on Monday posted a 33 percent increase in first-half net profit.