Hong Kong stocks have closed 2.03 per cent lower, as fears about China's slowing economic growth came sharply into focus a day before the release of key data.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index gave up 394.76 points on Thursday to end at 19,025.11 on turnover of $HK47.24 billion ($A5.9 billion).
The index followed a regional trend after a surprise South Korean interest rate cut stoked fears about the health of its economy and Japan's central bank failed to make major changes to its stimulus programme.
But Hong Kong was also dragged down by fears about the Chinese indicators to be released on Friday, including second-quarter gross domestic product, which are expected to confirm a slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy.
China Construction Bank closed down 3.7 per cent at $HK4.75, still hurting from a report earlier this week that it has a large exposure to a bankrupt property and investment firm.
Another heavyweight that ended down was China Mobile, which fell 2.2 per cent to $HK84.75, amid fears that a slowdown will hurt telecoms operators.
Real estate giant Sun Hung Kai Properties declined only 0.8 per cent to HK$95.40, after buying a prime waterfront site on Hong Kong island for a lower-than-expected $HK6.91 billion.
Chinese shares closed higher on selective buying, but gains were limited by investor caution ahead of the release of Friday's data, dealers said.
The Shanghai Composite Index ended up 0.46 per cent, or 10.11 points, at 2,185.49 on turnover of 79.6 billion yuan ($A12.23 billion).
"Some sectors rebounded as China made clear it will stabilise economic growth, so investors are still cautiously optimistic ahead of the data release," Jiang Shiqing, an analyst at Industrial Securities, said.
Coal firms rose on stabilising domestic prices, with Shanxi Coal International surging by the daily 10 per cent limit to 23.01 yuan and Yanzhou Coal advancing 5.30 per cent to 19.46 yuan.
Infrastructure-related stocks rose again on hopes for more government spending after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday that stabilising the economy was a priority and urged more investment.
Sichuan Road & Bridge rose 3.0 per cent to 4.46 yuan and Anhui Water Resources Development gained 2.52 per cent to 11.78 yuan.
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