European shares opened slightly higher on Thursday, led by gains in materials stocks, while investors brace for key U.S. inflation data to gauge the outlook on global interest rate cuts.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.2% by 0820 GMT, while the benchmark Germany's benchmark DAX index notched another record high, rising 0.2%.

Investor focus will be on the U.S. Federal Reserve's preferred measure of consumer prices - the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) data for January - along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) reading from Germany, ahead of euro zone inflation data due on Friday.

The U.S. PCE and German CPI data are due later in the day.

UK's CRH forecast core profit growth in 2024 after beating its 2023 profit target. The building materials producer topped gains on the STOXX 600 with a 5.6% jump.

Shares in Beiersdorf dropped 3.8% after the Nivea maker forecast growth in organic sales to slow down in 2024, following a 10.8% organic sales increase in the past year.

German chipmaking tools manufacturer Aixtron shares tumbled 17.2% to the bottom of the STOXX 600, despite a forecast of further revenue growth in 2024. (Reporting by Khushi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)