Hong Kong shares have closed 0.36 per cent lower and Shanghai has slipped 0.25 per cent amid low expectations of good news before the US central bank chief's speech and data on Chinese manufacturing.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index on Friday fell 70.34 points to 19,482.57 on turnover of $HK39.43 billion ($A4.97 billion).
Market volume was light as investors took to the sidelines ahead of US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's speech later on Friday at an annual economic meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
The Hong Kong index has fallen 2.0 per cent this week, reversing strong gains made throughout August, amid falling expectations that the Fed chief will signal fresh easing measures to boost the world's biggest economy.
Citic Pacific led the blue-chip losers, falling 7.1 per cent to $HK9.49 after UBS cut its target price to $HK7.50 from $HK9.40 and kept the stock at sell, because of higher operating costs for the conglomerate's Australian iron ore operations.
But property stocks rebounded after heavy losses caused by concerns about government moves to cool the sector.
Authorities announced measures to rein in rising prices after the market closed on Thursday, but most analysts judged them to be mild.
Cheung Kong rose 1.6 per cent to $HK105.50, Henderson Land rallied 2.1 per cent to $HK47.70, and Sun Hung Kai Properties closed up 1.5 per cent at $HK100.60.
Stocks in local shop groups slipped after data showed Hong Kong's retail sales slowed in July.
Gold and jewellery retailer Luk Fook slumped 5.4 per cent to $HK19.82 and department store operator Lifestyle fell 3.0 per cent to $HK16.96.
In mainland China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 5.07 points to 2,047.52 on turnover of 35.3 billion yuan ($A5.46 billion). The index fell 2.13 per cent for the week.
"The stock market is clouded by a wait-and-see sentiment (ahead of manufacturing activity data on Saturday) and the downward trend might continue unless there are substantial stimulus policies," Shen Jun, an analyst at BOC International, told AFP.
Investors are worried that the official purchasing managers' index, which gauges nationwide manufacturing activity, might show a contraction for August, he added.
Resources stocks fell, with aluminium producer Chalco off 3.55 per cent at 5.16 yuan, while Jiangxi Copper fell 2.58 per cent to 19.65 yuan.
China Coal Energy shed 1.60 per cent to 6.77 yuan and Yangquan Coal Industry slid 1.14 per cent to 13.88 yuan.
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