Stock markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai retreated after rallying for three days as investors on both sides paused for breath ahead of the release of the country’s second-quarter gross domestic product data on Wednesday. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.16 per cent to 3,924.49 on Tuesday while the Hang Seng index edged down 0.44 per cent to 25,112.06. Some HK$126 billion worth of shares changed hands in Hong Kong, compared with Monday’s HK$136.8 billion. Trading in China’s two stock markets increased to 1.32 trillion yuan (HK$1.67 trillion), up from Monday’s 1.17 trillion yuan. Macau casino operators Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment led the gainers in Hong Kong, rising 4.85 and 3.81 per cent respectively to their highest levels in a month. Extending the weakness in mainland financial companies, all major lenders and insurers finished in the red. Investors also took profit from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, which dropped 2.5 per cent to HK$233.6, after UBS said the daily turnover is expected to slow to HK$100 billion, from HK$127 billion in the first half. The bank also lowered its target price on HKEx to HK$225 from HK$235. The H-share index, which tracks Hong Kong-listed mainland companies, slid 1.4 per cent to close at 11,836, dragged down by Great Wall Motor and insurer PICC Casualty & Casualty, each of which fell 4 per cent. Beijing will provide the latest data on economic growth for the three months to June on Wednesday, with economists expecting the headline second-quarter GDP figure to come in at 6.9 per cent, down from 7.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year, the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2009. China’s annual 2014 GDP growth stood at 7.4 per cent, the lowest rate in 24 years. Hong Kong-traded shares in Brilliance China Automotive, which makes BMW cars for the China market, dropped 9.35 per cent to HK$10.28, slightly above its 52-week low of HK$10, after it said profit for the first six months might drop 40 per cent due to a slowdown in the auto industry and the wider economy. “We estimate net margin at the joint-venture unit between Brilliance and BMW to come in at 9.1 per cent in the first six months of 2015, down from 11.7 per cent in 2014 and 9.4 per cent in 2013,” analysts at JPMorgan wrote in a report. “Brilliance’s key models including sedans and SUV all suffer from elevated discounts.” In Shanghai, only one of the 25 brokerages finished in the black, with Huatai Securities the worst hit, down 8 per cent. “The performance of brokerage companies deteriorated in the afternoon session,” said Gerry Alfonso, a trader at Shenyin Wanguo Securities in Shanghai. Brokerage stocks are more sensitive to market volatility and tend to do better amid wild swings. Banks fell too, between 1 and 4 per cent. Citic Bank and Bank of China were the exceptions, with Citic jumping 8.4 per cent. “The good news is that small and medium cap companies continue to rally, perhaps an indication that retail investors are back to their pre-correction levels,” said Alfonso. The Shenzhen Composite Index rose 1.38 per cent to 2,149.52, while the ChiNext board added 1.60 per cent to close at 2,726.05.