By Sruthi Shankar and Sagarika Jaisinghani

Aug 13 (.) – European equities snapped a four-day positive streak on Thursday as a stronger pound hit major UK companies, in a session in which investors sold off bank and energy stocks that have had a good performance this week.

* The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.6% lower and London’s FTSE 100 fell 1.5% after a rise in the pound hurt exporters.

* After the US announcement last week to ban two popular Chinese apps, investors were nervous about upcoming talks between Beijing and Washington on a trade deal agreed to earlier this year.

* Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans in the United States remain stalled after weeks of disputes over a fifth aid package to support an economy struggling from the coronavirus.

* Some corporate information also affected the mood of the market. Beleaguered conglomerate Thyssenkrupp plunged 16.3% after saying its steel unit would rake in 1 billion euros ($ 1.2 billion) in operating losses this year, increasing pressure to reverse course or sell the division.

* TUI, the world’s largest tourism company, fell 6.2% after reporting a loss of 1.1 billion euros ($ 1.3 billion) in the third quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Danish brewer Carlsberg fell 5.8% after warning that containment measures will affect sales in the second half of the year in its key markets: China and Western Europe. (Edited in Spanish by Rodrigo Charme)