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Global Equity ETFs Slip on Signs of China Economic Weakness

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

Global equity ETFs weakened Thursday as weak data on China, the world's second largest economy, and tempered expectations on trade talks between the U.S. and China weighed on markets.

On Thursday, the iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) fell 0.2% and the Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT) dropped 0.1%.

The most recent data revealed Chinese factory activity declined to a three-year low and China's export orders decreased at their fastest pace since the global financial downturn a decade ago, fueling concerns of a slowdown in the Chinese economy and its impact on global markets, Reuters reports.

China's official manufacturing purchasing managers index in February dropped to 49.2 from 49.5 in February, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. While the Lunar New Year holiday played a a role in the weaker factory activity data over February, some economists noted that averaging out performance for the first two months of the year also revealed a broader slowdown, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The negative PMI number is certainly of concern,” Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel, told Reuters, referring to the weak Chinese economic data. “It paints a question mark globally because China is a huge economy.”

Related: A Positive Outlook for Emerging Market-Related ETFs

Trade Talks and Global Equity ETFs

The prolonged talks between the U.S. and China also dampened optimism over a swift end to the protracted trade tiff between the world's two largest economies.

Furthermore, the markets experienced sudden flight to quality after news of the abrupt end to the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on denuclearization.

Global equities were on pace for their third consecutive daily loss after hitting a fourth-month high earlier this week on the upbeat expectations of an end to the U.S.-China trade war. Many market observers believe that global stock markets in 2019 will at best recover losses from the deep sell-off late last year, warning of a potential sharp fall off by mid-year.

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