* STOXX up 0.5 percent
* Insurers lead sectoral gainers
* SocGen falls after deputy CEO quits
* Banks edge up after ECB loan guidelines (Updates prices, adds details)
LONDON/MILAN, March 15 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Thursday, buoyed by good results from companies including insurance heavyweights Munich Re and Generali , while Societe Generale fell after its deputy CEO unexpectedly resigned.
SocGen shares slid 2.5 percent after the French bank said Didier Valet was leaving following "a divergence of approaches regarding management of a specific legal matter", without elaborating.
A source familiar with the matter said the divergence related to investigations over the suspected rigging of the Libor interbank rate, and brokers raised concerns over the impact of litigation.
"These uncertainties will put further pressure on the share price, in particular concerns about the triple litigations and the now obvious material disagreements on how to handle them," KBW analysts said.
SocGen shares fell as much as 4.3 percent to their lowest level in more than 2 months, but staged a late recovery to end down 0.7 percent.
Gains in the insurance sector and strength among tech stocks, however, helped push the pan-European STOXX 600 index up, accelerating gains in afternoon trading. It ended the day up 0.5 percent after two days in the red.
Tensions on trade took a back seat as investors turned their focus back to earnings updates.
Munich Re shares rose 2.8 percent after the world's largest reinsurer raised its 2018 profit forecasts and said it planned to buy back 1 billion euros in shares.
Generali also rose 2.5 percent after it raised its dividend following record operating profit.
Following on from rival Inditex's disappointing results on Wednesday, Swedish clothing firm H&M published lower-than-expected quarterly sales, sending shares in the world's second-biggest fashion retailer down 4.6 percent.
Dufry shares fell 6.2 percent after results, with traders attributing the drop to a lack of clarity on its dividend plans.
Banks rose slightly after the European Central Bank released long-delayed guidelines on treating new soured bank debt. The guidelines will go into effect on April 1 but lenders may get a reprieve from full implementation until 2021.
"All looks pretty much in line with expectations with a mild improvement on the schedule of provisioning," Mediobanca Securities said in a note to clients. "We see a mildly net positive for banks today."
Italian banks, which hold nearly one third of the euro zone bad loan pile, gained 1.4 percent.
Meanwhile oil and gas stocks were the worst-performers, down 0.2 percent, tracking a dip in crude prices after the U.S. announced expanded sanctions against Russians.
Overall, fourth-quarter earnings for the STOXX 600 are expected to increase 15.8 percent from Q4 2017, and more companies than usual have beaten earnings and revenue estimates. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Andrew Roche)