UPDATE 1-European shares drop as earnings flurry fails to lift sentiment

* STOXX down 0.7 percent

* After Lloyds, Barclays shines with results

* Centrica rises, cuts 4000 jobs

* Germany's IFO disappoints (For a live blog on European stocks, type LIVE/ in an Eikon news window)

LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - European shares retreated on Thursday as a flurry of corporate results failed to lift sentiment after a new wave of speculation about faster hikes in U.S interest rates hit Wall Street and Asia and soured risk appetite globally.

An hour after the open, the publication of the German business confidence index, which fell more than expected in February, and a downward revision in UK economic growth cemented the gloom.

At 0950 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.7 percent, with almost all industry sectors and national bourses falling.

"Stock markets are weaker today after the Federal Reserve released the minutes of their latest meeting last night," said David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets, noting that the sell-off in the U.S. had spilled from there to Asia and now to Europe.

Barclays was the best performing stock among blue-chips, rising 5.8 percent after it pledged to restore its full dividend with a payout of 6.5 pence per share in 2018.

The earnings further buoyed optimism on British banks, a day after Lloyds' reported its highest pretax profit since 2006.

Other financial companies had positive news, with French insurer AXA posting higher than expected 2017 net profit and Belgian financial services provider KBC boosted by solid performances in the Czech Republic and its international business.

Shares in both groups rose 0.7 percent and 2.6 percent respectively.

Denmark's Genmab, Europe's biggest biotechnology company, posted the best performance within the STOXX 600, surging as much as 19 percent as it reassured investors on sales growth of blood cancer drug Darzalex this year.

Denmark-based hearing aid manufacturer William Demant Holding was second with a 7 percent jump after results came in above forecast.

In the currently unpopular utilities sectors, France's Veolia jumped 3.3 percent after reporting an acceleration of growth in early 2018. Double-digit international growth and a recovery in France boosted 2017 core earnings.

The utilities sector index was the only one rising, up 0.4 percent.

Also boosting the sector was top UK energy supplier Centrica , which issued a profit warning in November but rose 3.1 percent after it raised its cost saving target by 500 million pounds and said it would cut about 4,000 jobs by 2020.

In another unloved sector, Deutsche Telekom lost 2.8 percent after its results and Telefonica Deutschland fell 2.5 percent after RBC cut its target price by 13 percent.

French payment technology company Ingenico was facing its worst trading day in 16 years, down as much as 20 percent in the early morning, after announcing 2018 guidance below analyst expectations.

In sharp contrast to the positive share price reaction to Glencore's upbeat results on Wednesday, Anglo American fell 3.3 percent after presenting 2007 results that missed some forecasts.

Other blue-chip companies made gains after publishing their results, such as Belgian pharmaceutical group UCB up 4.4 percent and French chemical group Arkema , which rose 3.6 percent.

(Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)