Both U.S. and global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) hit multiyear lows in the third quarter as Europe reported a 45% increase in M&A activity compared to the same period last year, according to data from Refinitiv.

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U.S. M&A dropped to $246 billion, its lowest quarterly level since 2014. The number is a 40% drop year-over-year. Globally, M&A dropped to $729 billion, the lowest quarterly level since 2016.

The numbers are likely the result of uncertainty caused by factors like the U.S.-China trade war and Brexit. The latter may have played a part in Europe's $249 billion in M&A — outside companies view British ventures as vulnerable acquisition targets as Brexit drags on, according to Reuters. The United Kingdom is the most targeted nation this year, according to Refinitiv.

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Meanwhile in Asia, M&A dropped to $160 billion, the lowest level since 2017. That number excludes Japan.

Asian M&A activity dropped 20% year-to-year as tensions remain high between anti-China protesters in business-centric Hong Kong and the government in Beijing.

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https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/us-global-mergers-and-acquisitions-lows

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