* German DAX falls as industrial output disappoints
* U.S. Sept rate hike still seen on cards after jobs data
* Monte Paschi posts second consecutive quarter of profit
* Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
* Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) - European stocks fell on Friday, weighed down by the German market after a surprising fall in industrial output there, while jobs data reinforced expectations of a U.S. interest rate rise soon.
Germany’s DAX fell 0.2 percent. The DAX is some 7 percent below a record high reached in April, although it remains up nearly 20 percent since the start of 2015.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index and the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also both retreated by 0.3 percent.
German industrial output declined and exports fell by more than expected, raising questions about the strength of the recovery in Europe’s largest economy.
“The numbers are disappointing, but the European economic recovery hasn’t been a nice steady trend. We’ve sometimes seen these figures spike lower, but it’s not enough to start pressing panic buttons,” Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG, said.
European equity markets also remained lower after the U.S. data.
U.S. employment rose at a solid clip in July and wages rebounded after a surprise stall in the prior month, signs of an improving economy that could open the door wider to a Federal Reserve interest rate hike in September.
“Many traders still believe that a rate hike will arrive in September or October,” said ActivTrades chief market analyst Carlo Alberto de Casa.
Greek stocks edged back up for the second day after steep losses earlier in the week caused by persistent concerns about Greece’s debt problems.
Belgian postal operator bpost sank 8.2 percent to be the top STOXX Europe 600 faller, and was set for its worst day after second quarter earnings missed forecasts and it said it expected its classic mail business to decline by more than previously expected.
Finnish tyre maker Nokian Tyres also dropped 2.4 percent after a cut to its full-year profit forecast, while a fall in U.S. media stocks also hit their European peers on Friday.
Earnings season has generally been encouraging, however. Of STOXX Europe 600 to have reported results, 57 percent have beaten or met profit expectations, with 66 percent of companies achieving or exceeding revenue estimates.
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena rose 8.3 percent after it reported a second consecutive quarter of profit, as it continued a recovery after being hit hard by the euro zone debt crisis and a scandal over loss-making derivative trades.
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Alison Williams)