* FTSEurofirst 300 edges down, Novozymes slumps on weak results
* Munich Re raises guidance, shares climb higher
* Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
* Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - European shares retreated on Thursday, with some weak corporate results hitting the shares of enzyme company Novozymes and Deutsche Post .
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which rose 1.3 percent in the previous session, fell back 0.4 percent. The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index declined by 0.2 percent.
Novozymes slid by around 10 percent after the company reported second-quarter earnings below expectations. Deutsche Post’s shares also fell after cutting its 2015 profit outlook.
Weak oil prices also weighed on energy stocks.
However, some better results were reported elsewhere. Belgian financial company KBC rose 3.5 percent after it posted higher profits. Reinsurer Munich Re progressed 2.6 percent after the company raised its outlook.
The rise in Munich Re enabled Germany’s DAX to outperform weaker markets elsewhere, with the DAX up 0.1 percent. Britain’s FTSE was down 0.3 percent.
“I prefer the DAX to the FTSE at the moment, mainly because the DAX is less exposed to the weak commodity prices which have been weighing on the FTSE,” said Hantec Markets’ analyst Richard Perry.
According to data from Thomson Reuters StarMine, 59 percent of companies on the European STOXX 600 index have met or beaten market expectations for their results this quarter.
Along with the robust corporate results, economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank have also propped up European stock markets this year, enabling them to shrug off lingering concerns over Greece’s debt problems.
Even though the U.S. and Britain may raise interest rates in the near future, most analysts expect the ECB to keep its interest rates at record lows for now, and both the DAX and FTSEurofirst are up nearly 20 percent so far in 2015.
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Larry King)