European shares retreat from six-week highs; gold miners fall
* FTSEurofirst 300, STOXX 600 up 0.3 pct
* Stocks close near day's lows, precious metal miners weigh
* Chemicals companies lifted by merger talk
* Julius Baer slides after tax-dodging charge (Updates with closing prices)
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - European shares backed away from six-week highs on Monday even as Greece began to return to normal after agreeing on terms for a new bailout package. A drop in gold prices hurt mining stocks.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 0.3 percent up at 1,613.95 points, near the day's trading lows, after earlier hitting its highest level since May 29 at 1,621.31 points. The broader STOXX Europe 600 also ended the day 0.3 percent higher.
Volatility has halved in less than two weeks on the prospect of a new deal to resolve Greece's debt crisis. On Monday, Greek banks reopened and the country began paying off billions of euros owed to international creditors.
"We see this as still being a rising market ... There may be some more volatility ahead, but focus is turning to the second-quarter company results season and the numbers should be solid," said Christian Jimenez, head of asset manager Diamant Bleu Gestion in Paris. Continuación...