Hong Kong shares fell on Monday with Macau casinos under selling pressure after last week's strong rebound, while China markets were also weaker as investors await major economic data later this week.
At midday, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.2 percent at 23,494.96 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.1 percent.
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings and the Shanghai Composite Index were both off 0.3 percent. The Shanghai benchmark stood at 2,052.42 points after choppy morning trade.
"The active stocks are mainly those new listings and small caps," said Zhang Qi, a Shanghai-based analyst with Haitong Securities.
But Zhang warned about risks from speculating on small caps.
"There's the rising tide but also the falling tide. In the long run, if these companies cannot sustain profit growth, you may face relatively big risks if you drive up these stocks," he said.
Property developers extended gains, with the CSI China Mainland Real Estate index up 1.2 percent to its highest since April 25.
China Vanke climbed 3.1 percent in Shenzhen and 2.7 percent in Hong Kong, following rises of 3.9 and 8.2 percent in the two markets on Friday after the largest residential property developer said first-half contract sales were up 20.6 percent from a year ago.
Poly Real Estate Group added 2.2 percent, after the National Business Daily reported on Monday one luxury projects has been approved in Beijing at the price of about 100,000 yuan ($16,100) per square metre, a sign that the capital city has loosened its restrictions on housing prices.
Chongqing Iron & Steel, which gained 6.3 percent on Friday after a partnership with Korean steelmaker Posco was announced, dived 4.7 percent after the Chinese company said that tie-up would have no material impact on its results, as the benefit would go to its parent.
A leading loser on the Hang Seng was Sands China, which slid 2.7 percent. Galaxy Entertainment Group, which jumped 11 percent last week, sank 1.8.
Great Wall Motor lost 4.0 percent in Hong Kong and 0.9 percent in Shanghai after June sales declined.
Beijing is due to post June inflation data on Wednesday and trade on Thursday, with loan growth and money supply data expected between July 10 and 15.
Second quarter GDP growth is due on July 16, as are monthly urban investment, industrial output and retail sales figures.
($1 = 6.1996 Chinese Yuan Renminbi)