The Hang Seng Index opened flat and went south. It fell as many 254 points before clawing back some of the losses to end down 175 points, or 0.6 percent, at 27,787, on turnover of HK$143.6 billion.
Carmakers were under pressure. BYD Company sank 5.6 percent to become the worst performer on the benchmark, after a shareholder trimmed its stake in the automaker. Geely Auto gave up 2.6 percent.
But biotech firms shone. Wuxi Biologics rallied 6.5 percent to become the top blue-chip gainer, after the company announced that it expects its interim net profit to more than double from a year ago.
CSPC Pharmaceutical advanced 3.4 percent. Sino Biopharmaceutical put on 2.4 percent.
Markets across the border also finished in the red, a day before the country releases its second-quarter economic growth data.
The Shanghai Composite Index and the blue-chip CSI300 index each retreated more than one percent. The Shenzhen Composite slipped 0.9 percent.
Around the region, Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.4 percent.
The Kospi in South Korea fell 0.2 percent, as the country tightened social distancing restrictions again to try to contain a spike in coronavirus infections.
Singapore slid about 0.4 percent. Taiwan was little changed. But Sydney was 0.3 percent firmer.
In currencies, the pound strengthened against the US dollar after fresh data showed that inflation in United Kingdom rose to its highest in almost three years.