Let the exchange traded funds (ETFs) begin! Oh, and the Games, too.

China has officially kicked off the Beijing Summer Olympics, and investors will soon have their many questions answered: Will the games have any impact on ETFs? Will growth continue after the athletes have all packed up and returned home?

Not all is going smoothly at the moment, however: China’s Shanghai Composite Index has fallen to its lowest level in nearly 19 months as investors sell airlines and other market heavyweights, reports Elaine Kurtenbach for the Associated Press. Analysts so far are puzzled that the big rally expectations have so far not materialized.

Many suspect that China was just not able to overcome negative reports, such as how the country’s inflation is at 12-year highs. Investors appear to be cautious as they wait for the games to end before making a decision.

It’s not for lack of trying, though. China has undergone a massive makeover in anticipation of the games, reports Kevin Johnson for USA Today. A high-speed train takes passengers from Beijing to neighboring Tianjin; three new lines have been added to the city’s subway system, including one to the airport; sports venues in the city have gone modern. Beijing also took care to ensure that these developments would continue to support the city after the games closed.

As you wait and see what the long-term impact will be, for now, just sit back, relax, watch your favorite sport while you track some of these ETFs:

  • iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 (FXI), down 23.9% year-to-date
  • PowerShares Golden Dragon Halter USX China (PGJ), down 30.7% year-to-date
  • SPDR S&P China (GXC), down 28.8% year-to-date
  • NETS Hang Send China Enterprises (SNO), down 8.4% since May 22 inception

There’s also the Dow Jones 2008 Summer Games Index, which is not backed by an ETF. The index holds companies that are official partners, sponsors and suppliers of the summer games. About half of the components are Chinese companies. As more Olympic games take place, the composition of the index will shift accordingly, according to Dow Jones.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.