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
* Italian banks rally help sector outperform (Adds details, updates prices)
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 weighing on the market.
Standard Chartered fell 5.5 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 BHP Billiton dropped 4.3 percent after the miner slashed its interim dividend by 75 percent, abandoning a long-held policy of steady or higher payouts, and reporting its first net loss in more than 16 years.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.3 percent by 1121 GMT after hitting a two-week high on Monday. Continuación...