European shares turned negative on Tuesday in choppy trading as weaker-than-expected U.S. durable goods data unnerved some investors.

New orders for U.S. manufactured goods fell in January by the most in three years as demand fell across the board from machinery to aircraft, suggesting the economy started the year on a weaker footing than expected.

At 1:49 p.m., the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of leading European shares was down 0.4 percent at 1,069.76 points, after going as high as 1,078.46 earlier in the session.

People looked at the durable goods and said: that's a shocking. The DJ futures have gone from being up to quite negative, Trevor Coote, head of equity sales at Alexander David Securities said.

I still think the market needs a little move downwards before we move ahead, there is still a lot of money sitting on the sidelines.

(Reporting by Brian Gorman)