Asian shares steadied Thursday, but investor sentiment remained vulnerable in the face of weak corporate earnings.  

The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was about flat, having fallen the past four days, Reuters reported. Australian shares were barely changed, while South Korean shares opened down 0.4 percent. Japan's Nikkei average opened little changed.

"Global sentiment is not conducive to risk-taking. In fact we are seeing more defensive plays," said Lee Kyung-soo, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities, adding that the Korean stock market will likely hold steady ahead of third quarter results from Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS).

With investors rapidly lowering third-quarter expectations and bracing for more disappointing news, Lee said it was unlikely that Hyundai’s earnings will shock the market.

U.S. stocks fell and the dollar gained on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve maintained its policy of stimulating growth until the job market improves.

The dollar index measured against a basket of major currencies reached a two-week high of 80.151  Wednesday after the Fed's decision, pulling the euro down to a near two-week low of $1.29205.

The dollar was up 0.1 percent at 79.87 against the yen to hover near its highest since early July of 80.02 touched on Tuesday. The euro eased 0.1 percent to $1.2964.

Brent was steady around $107.89 a barrel, after falling for a seventh consecutive session on Wednesday, as rising U.S. crude inventories and weak euro zone economic data offset supportive signs that Chinese petroleum demand could stage a recovery.

U.S. crude inched up 0.1 percent to $85.77 on Thursday, after settling at its lowest since July of $85.73.