Hong Kong shares went south after reaching new highs yesterday as the boost from Saturday's cut in the reserve ratio for China's banks quickly evaporated.
The Shanghai bourse also eased after opening higher, but it was still six points up at 2,364 by the close.
The Hang Seng Index shed 67 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 21,425, having opened at a six-month high of 21,760. Analysts pointed out that investors had cashed out of top performers.
Energy and mainland telecom plays dragged down the index, and the net take-up of third-generation mobile clients of three mainland telecom giants also slowed. China Mobile (0941) fell 1.3 percent, China Unicom (0762) 1.7 percent and China Telecom (0728) 1.6 percent.
Despite the launch of the iPhone 4S last month, Unicom's 3G net take-up was 3.05 million after December's 3.5 million.
Chinese financial stocks were muted despite the reserve ratio cut announced at the weekend by the central bank. Bank of China (3988) was unchanged at HK$3.35.
Meanwhile, 15 contracts of the Hang Seng Volatility Index futures made debuts, with volumes in line with expectations. VICTOR CHEUNG