The Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM), the two largest emerging markets exchange traded funds by assets, are just two of the big-name emerging markets ETFs that are struggling this year.

But in the essence of fairness, it must be noted these emerging markets ETFs and others like them have recently seen some upside. For example, EEM, the second-largest emerging markets ETF, has gained over 6% over the past month.

Some fund managers believe it will be a while before emerging markets stocks recover in earnest. Investors pulled out of riskier emerging markets as data showed growth from China’s economy slowed, commodity prices fell and the Federal Reserve signaled an interest rate hike this year. The China slowdown is fueling the lower commodity prices and lower outlook for other major emerging economies. Moreover, rising borrowing costs, a stronger dollar and rising corporate debt loads, with the International Monetary Fund warning of corporate defaults, are adding to volatility. [Area Emerging Market ETF Investors Must Monitor]

Investors should look at the emerging market equities as a more cyclical asset. Currently, after years of outperformance in the developed markets, the emerging markets are beginning to show a lower premium to more developed countries. [Look to Emerging Market ETFs in the Second Half]

The recent uptick in emerging markets ETFs could give way to technical retrenchment in the eyes of some technical analysts.

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