NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Chinese economy continues to turn out underwhelming data and show signs of a weak recovery.Urban fixed investment, a main economic driver, came in weaker than expected Monday, followed by a miss on the Chinese industrial production measure. It doesn't look as if China is in free-fall mode, but recent data haven't been promising. Also, cash flowing into China on speculation that the yuan has further room to climb could be damaging. The yuan has risen lately, and the Chinese central bank has its hands tied somewhat. If it cuts rates and depreciates the value of its currency, it invites more speculative flows into Chinese property markets, already at record highs. A property bubble could be disastrous for China, but the country needs more growth.
Below is a chart of FTSE China 25 Index Fund ( FXI) over Total World Stock Index ETF ( VT). The pair shows the relative weakness of China as its economic picture has deteriorated. Money has taken flight from China's battered markets and made its way into American and Japanese equities. Look for a pickup in Chinese economic data to reverse the direction of its equity market.
Equity markets have made new highs and been the market of choice for global investors over the past few weeks, which may mean it's time for a pullback. The lack of movement following better-than-expected retail numbers and the low trading volume could signal waning momentum in U.S. equity markets. At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @AndrewSachais This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.