China stocks slipped on Tuesday amid lingering concerns over liquidity conditions, even as investors awaited a decision by U.S. index provider MSCI on whether to add mainland shares to its Emerging Markets Index .
The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent, to 3,546.49 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.2 percent to 3,140.01 points.
The MSCI decision is due Tuesday afternoon in the United States (4.30 am Wednesday Hong Kong time).
Northbound trading under the mainland-Hong Kong stock connect schemes has averaged a net inflow of 1.21 billion yuan ($177.15 million) per day in the last two weeks, more than the 938 million yuan in the first five months of the year, as investors have built in high expectations of the inclusion.
Many investors predict that the so-called A shares which make up the majority of China's stock market will be included by MSCI, which has rejected this on three previous occasions.
But Yan Kaiwen, an analyst with China Fortune Securities, said he believes inclusion of A-shares is "not that likely".
Still, if MSCI again rejects inclusion, the impact on Chinese markets "could be rather limited", he said.
Generous money injections by the central bank are helping to maintain some calm in China's financial markets, but market interest rates are persistently high, reflecting worries that liquidity conditions remain unusually tight.
Any signs of a potential credit crunch usually ripples through Chinese financial markets as investors are wary of a knock-on impact across broader economic activity.
Most sectors lost ground, led by the defensive consumer and healthcare stocks.
($1 = 6.8302 Chinese yuan renminbi)