European shares fall as BHP, StanChart updates weigh
* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 0.3 percent
* Standard Chartered drops after profit slump
* BHP Billiton sharply down on dividend cut
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - European shares retreated on Tuesday, with falling commodities prices and disappointing updates from Standard Chartered and BHP Billiton putting pressure on the market.
Standard Chartered fell 5 percent after the emerging markets-focused bank reported an 84 percent fall in profits as weaker global financial markets, tumbling commodity prices and rising loan impairments hammered revenues.
Shares in miner BHP Billiton dropped 3 percent after it slashed its interim dividend by 75 percent, abandoning a long-held policy of steady or higher payouts, and reporting a six-month net loss of $5.67 billion, its first in more than 16 years.
"The dividend at BHP Billiton had looked in doubt for some time," Steve Clayton, head of equity research at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.3 percent by 0852 GMT. The index closed 1.7 percent higher on Monday after hitting a two-week high. It is down nearly 10 percent so far this year. Continuación...