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Europe: Trade woes knock shares for the fourth day; Thyssenkrupp slumps

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European stocks dropped for a fourth straight day on Thursday as mixed headlines about US-China trade talks muted risk appetite, while German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp suffered its worst day in nineteen years after scrapping its dividend.

[BENGALURU] European stocks dropped for a fourth straight day on Thursday as mixed headlines about US-China trade talks muted risk appetite, while German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp suffered its worst day in nineteen years after scrapping its dividend.

Thyssenkrupp tumbled more than 13 per cent as it warned of deeper losses and asked investors for yet more patience over its turnaround.

The major indexes were broadly lower with the pan-European Stoxx 600 set for its first weekly drop in seven.

European miners, among the most vulnerable to trade headlines, led sector losses, dropping more than 1 per cent, while technology and industrials lost about 0.4 per cent.

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Fears that agreement of an initial trade deal between United States and China could slide into next year, as well as political tensions between the two sides due to the US passing legislation backing protestors in Hong Kong, weighed on investor sentiment.

However, markets closed off of their session lows, with another report claiming the US could delay tariffs on Chinese imports even if a trade deal was not reached by Dec 15.

"The US and China will struggle to reach a phase-one trade deal, if they reach a deal at all," said Jeroen Blokland, senior portfolio manager at Robeco.

"While a base case scenario of a marginal improvement in global growth and a return of positive earnings growth still applies, recent developments mean it could take longer for this scenario to materialise," he added.

The volatility gauge on euro zone blue-chips, hit a three week high before closing at session lows.

The Stoxx 600 is now about 2 per cent below a four-year peak hit two weeks ago, which was largely driven by better-than-expected earnings and hopes that a trade truce between United States and China was imminent.

Royal Mail slumped 14 per cent as Britain's former postal monopoly said it was running behind schedule with planned reforms as it grapples with threatened labour unrest and a slowing UK economy.

Centrica logged its biggest one-day percentage rise in over a decade after the utility said it was on course to meet its full year earnings targets and raised its expected efficiency savings.

British American Tobacco rose nearly 4 per cent as the US dropped a proposal to sharply cut nicotine levels in cigarettes. 

REUTERS