* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 percent
* Positive U.S. data outweighs fears over stimulus
* Basic resources advance, Citi upgrades sector
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) - European shares advanced on Friday, snapping a four-day losing streak, as robust U.S. economic data outweighed persistent uncertainty over the durability of stimulus measures from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The FTSEurofirst 300 had risen 0.4 percent to 1,179.06 by 0806 GMT, having slipped 0.1 percent on Thursday when it recouped a sharp early decline after upbeat U.S. retail sales and jobless claims data.
The solid data went some way to assuage concerns over whether the world’s biggest economy could withstand a scaling back of the Fed’s stimulus, which have contributed to a drop of some 6 percent from five-year highs hit towards the end of May.
“We remain bullish... okay the Fed may reduce (its stimulus measures) a little bit but I don’t see it happening this year,” Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets, said.
“If you have easy monetary policy and improving economic conditions, which will also help companies to produce good earnings going forward and then you have a lot of the building blocks in place (to drive stock market gains),” he said, adding that he expected an economic recovery to materialise in the second half of the year.
Mining shares, which are sensitive to the health of the global economy, built on sharp gains seen in the previous session with a 1.0 percent advance.
Sentiment surrounding basic resources stocks was helped as Citi lifted its rating on the sector to “overweight”, citing valuation grounds, in part of a broader note in which the investment bank said it remained positive on European equities.
A poor showing from the sector, the worst performers this year by some margin - has left it looking cheap.
According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, the Metals & Mining sector trades on a 12-month forward price/earnings ratio of 10.4 times, against the STOXX 600 on 12.1 times.
The Euro STOXX 50, meanwhile, rose 0.6 percent to 2,676.68.
Analysts remained cautiously optimistic on the index, though expected moves to be muted ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting on June 18-19 which investors hope will offer clues about the outlook for the Fed’s stimulus programme.
Lynnden Branigan, analyst at Barclays Capital, said that in the near-term, he was looking for a slight recovery towards the most recent range highs seen on June 10 of 2,734.
“I think the market is focused on the FOMC next week and I think we’ll be looking for some kind of sideways chop... until (then),” he said.