* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 0.4 pct, sets two-month low
* Gives away early gains as macro picture seen gloomy
* Suedzucker, Gerresheimer tumble after outlook update
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - European shares surrendered early gains in choppy afternoon trade on Thursday as relief at the prospect of continued monetary support from the Federal Reserve gave way to a bleak economic outlook on this side of the Atlantic.
The market had been boosted by the minutes of the last Fed meeting, which suggested the central bank would not start raising interest rates until the U.S. economy is strong enough to accept the move.
Precious metals miners Fresnillo and Randgold Resources rose more than 6 percent each as gold prices climbed to their highest in two weeks on the back of the dovish minutes.
But a string of weak European economic data recently and dissatisfaction at stimulus measures introduced so far by the European Central Bank led investors to cash in on early gains.
“Everyone was a bit more bullish after the minutes but Europe’s picture hasn’t changed,” Mike Reuter, a broker at Tradition, said. “So overall people are taking advantage (of the bounce) and taking a bit of profit.”
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of European shares fell 0.4 percent to 1,314.72 points, falling for a third day and setting a new two-month low at 1,313.27 points.
Euro zone banks, which have the greatest exposure to the region’s economy weighed, fell 1.7 percent, led by Italian , French and Portuguese lenders.
Disappointing outlook statements from two German companies added to investor anxiety.
Europe’s largest sugar producer, Suedzucker, fell 12.4 percent and drugs packager Gerresheimer dropped 11 percent. The former warned it may find it tough to reach its profit target; the latter was hit by analyst downgrades after publishing earnings guidance.
In yet another sign that Europe’s largest economy was faltering, figures showed on Thursday that German exports slumped by 5.8 percent in August, their biggest fall since the depths of the global financial crisis in January 2009.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (1 US dollar = 0.7860 euro) (Additional reporting By Atul Prakash and Liisa Tuhkanen; Editing by Larry King)