* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 percent
* Miners extend gains on robust U.S. data
* C. Suisse ups 'underweight' on European shares
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - European shares were nudged into positive territory by mining stocks on Wednesday, building on the previous session's gains as the market continued to draw strength from data that showed improvement in the U.S. economy.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.1 percent at 1,189.50 by 0904 GMT, having firmed 0.2 percent on Tuesday, with miners , highly geared to the economic cycle, ahead 1.4 percent.
However, charts painted a bearish picture for the Euro STOXX 50 index, off 0.2 percent at 2,635.13, extending the previous session's 0.3 percent decline in the aftermath of a 1.2 percent drop on Monday which pushed it below its 50-day moving average
The Dow Jones industrial average hit a fresh record close while the S&P 500 rose to just below its all-time closing high after data showed U.S. single-family home prices rose in January at the fastest pace in more than six years, while U.S. durable goods orders surged in February.
"The current situation with the macro environment remains strong... Notwithstanding any other macro risks that may become apparent due to fears of (euro zone debt) contagion... we see the uptrend in the market to continue," said Atif Latif, director of trading at Guardian Stockbrokers.
He said markets were susceptible to volatility on Wednesday, given the focus was still on Cyprus, with the country expected to complete capital control measures to prevent a run on banks by depositors anxious about their savings following a controversial bailout package with international lenders.
Patrick Moonen, a senior strategist at ING, has recently become less optimistic on Europe, downgrading it to "underweight" relative to the U.S. market, citing deepening economic malaise in the region.
"We think (European equities) will lag the rest of the world (because of) economic data, also earnings momentum which is clearly weaker in Europe relative to, for example, the U.S.," he said.
"And then of course you still have somewhat higher systemic risks. The market still has to digest what are the real consequences of Cyprus ... that still remains a source of uncertainty."
Similarly, Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS - news) equity strategists have increased their 'underweight' stance on continental European shares while remaining 'overweight' on equities as a global asset class.
They argued that European equities are not cheap enough given the region's euro zone debt crisis and weak economic backdrop.
"Europe only looks, we think, clearly cheap on trend earnings using the Shiller methodology, but the current trend rate of real EPS growth (6 percent) looks unsustainable to us: if we put in a more realistic trend growth rate (3 percent), then this 'cheap' valuation disappears," they wrote in a note.
"Further short-term weakness looks possible," Charles Stanley technical analyst Bill McNamara said concerning the outlook for the Euro STOXX 50 (Zurich: ^STOXX50E - news) index. He noted that the next area of possible support is likely to be found at around 2,610.