British stocks edged higher on Thursday supported by a rise in mining and automobile shares, while caution prevailed ahead of a slew of domestic and global economic data that could provide cues on the interest rate path.

As of 8:13 GMT, the FTSE 100 rose 0.4%, while the more domestically focused FTSE 250 gained 0.3%.

The automobiles and parts index led sectoral gains with a 1.6% rise after data showed new car sales in Britain rose about 10% in March.

Industrial metal miners also rose 1.6% as copper prices rose on the back of a weaker dollar, hopes of global interest rate cuts and China's stronger-than-expected manufacturing data released earlier this week.

"There has been this feeling that China might be on the verge of reaccelerating, making the commodity-sensitive sectors on the FTSE 100 perform quite well," Julien Lafargue, chief market strategist at Barclays Private Bank, said.

Meanwhile, investors were cautiously optimistic after a report showed U.S. services industry growth slowed further in March, while Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed rate cuts are coming if data pans out as the U.S. central bank expects.

Focus moves to the upcoming UK and euro zone services PMI data for the month of March, due later in the day. At least seven Fed officials are also scheduled to speak at events, which could offer further clarity on the timeline of rate cuts.

Among individual stocks, Cab Payments gained 11.6% after the fintech company got a payment service provider licence in the Netherlands.

InterContinental Hotels, pest control firm Rentokil Initial and packaging company Mondi fell between 1.4% and 2.7% as the shares trade ex-dividend. (Reporting by Pranav Kashyap and Khushi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)