* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 0.2 pct
* Commodity shares among top fallers
* Earnings mixed; Adecco slumps, Vestas gains
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) - European shares retreated on Thursday as commodity-related stocks were sold off heavily on a stronger dollar and some companies slumped after reporting disappointing results.
The European mining index fell 1 percent after major industrial metals such as copper, aluminium and nickel fell about 1 percent. Metals prices came under pressure from a rally in the dollar after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen pointed to a possible December interest rate hike.
A stronger U.S. currency generally makes dollar-priced commodities costlier for holders of other currencies and hits metals demand.
“We are seeing a rotation out of commodity-related sectors, driven by a stronger dollar on prospects of a U.S. rate hike,” said Gerhard Schwarz, head of equity strategy at Baader Bank in Munich.
“The earnings season has also been mixed. Overall, we have to admit that European earnings have been far weaker than expectations a couple of months ago. The currency tailwind in Europe is offset by weak commodity prices.”
Thomson Reuters Datastream shows that analysts’ expectations for European earnings growth in 2015 have slipped to less than 1 percent from about 10 percent at the start of the year.
In Europe, about 60 percent of companies have reported results so far, of which half have met or beaten analysts’ earnings predictions, while the rest have missed, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data.
Shares in Adecco slumped more than 8 percent after the world’s biggest staffing group posted a surprise half-billion euro net loss in the third quarter due to a 740 million euro ($804.53 million) impairment of goodwill.
Brenntag fell 6 percent after the world’s largest chemicals distributor cut its full-year core profit guidance citing difficult macro conditions.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.2 percent at 1,498.40 points by 0912 GMT, having closed up 0.5 percent the previous day. Among sectors, energy stocks also fell, dragged down by a 1.4 to 3.0 percent drop in BP, BG Group and Royal Dutch Shell.
On the positive side, shares in Vestas Wind Systems rose more than 5 percent after reporting a stronger-than-expected third-quarter operating profit before special items and raising its 2015 profit outlook.
French bank Societe Generale gained 4.8 percent after its third-quarter income rose 2.4 percent as growth at its retail network and lower risk provisions helped offset weakness in investment banking.
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Hugh Lawson)