LONDON Jan 8 European stocks edged higher early on Wednesday, led by British supermarket J Sainsbury after a better-than-expected sales update.
Shares in Sainsbury rose 3.3 percent at 0802 GMT after it posted a small rise in sales in the 14 weeks to Jan. 4, ahead of analysts' forecasts.
Gains on broader indexes were more muted as investors waited for new signs that the global economy is picking up before committing more money to stocks.
The U.S. private-sector hiring data at 1315 GMT was due to set the scene for U.S. non-farm payrolls figure on Friday.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.1 percent to 1,320.47 points after hitting a high not seen since mid-2008 at 1,321.47 points in the previous session. The Euro STOXX 50 was also up 0.1 percent, at 3,113.32 points.