European shares edged higher on Thursday, heading into a long Easter weekend break, as mining and oil and gas stocks helped outweigh concerns of a U.S. economic slowdown that were triggered by weak data.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index inched up 0.3%. The basic resources index led the gains, rising 1.1%, while telecommunication shares lost 0.7%.

Wall Street closed lower on Wednesday after data showed private employers hired far fewer workers than expected in March.

German industrial production rose significantly more than expected in February due, in part, to vehicle manufacturing, increasing 2.0% on the previous month.

Investors will keep a close eye on a key U.S. jobs report on Friday for more clues on the outlook for global interest rates.

Credit Suisse rose 0.6% after Switzerland instructed the bank to cancel or reduce all outstanding bonus payments for the top three levels of management. (Reporting by Shubham Batra in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)