The Hang Seng Index gave up early gains to end Thursday in negative territory despite a return of southbound trading from across the border, as profit-taking also left most markets in the region in the red.
It appeared that the local blue-chip index could extend a seven-day winning streak, touching a 32-month high of 31,183, before changing course to head south.
It finished down 489 points or 1.6 percent, at 30,595. Turnover was HK$282.7 billion.
Heavyweights Tencent reached and Meituan reached new peaks before sinking. The Wechat operator touched HK$775.50, but ended the day 1.3 percent lower, at HK$747.50. Meituan slid 5.2 percent, after reaching a new high of HK$460.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing managed to stay in positive territory, adding 0.4 percent, after registering a new record high of HK$576.
Debutant New Horizon Health saw its shares surge by more than two-fold from its debut price of HK$26.66, as the mainland biotech firm wrapped up the day at HK$84.
Returning to trade for the first day following the Lunar New Year holiday, markets across the border also gave up early gains.
The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.6 percent, but blue-chip CSI300 index slipped 0.7 percent. The Shenzhen Composite Index shed 0.4 percent.
Around the region, Japan’s Nikkei inched down 0.2 percent. The Kospi in South Korea fell 1.5 percent. Singapore shaved 0.4 percent. But Taiwan put on 0.4 percent after topping its historic high. Australia was flat.