Recent trading patterns broke at least temporarily on Wednesday with both the dollar and world stocks slipping, the latter weakened particularly by falling emerging markets.
Crude oil dropped as well, sitting below $79 a barrel and pulling further away from its recent one-year peak. Despite this, the day's gainers were to be found in gold and copper.
The dollar has traded inversely to both oil and equities for much of this year.
Emerging market stocks were underperforming with MSCI's benchmark index <.MSCIEF> down around three-quarters of a percent compared with slight losses for global equities as a whole.
Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega announced on Monday that his government would charge a 2 percent financial transactions tax on foreign investments in Brazilian stocks and fixed-income securities in a bid to prevent the country's currency from strengthening further.
This hit Brazilian assets but also triggered some concern among emerging market investors that the idea may spread among other countries concerned about the degree of hot money flowing into their markets.
Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> reversed earlier gains to stand 0.2 percent lower. It remained close to a 12-month high, however.
The focus was on what have been generally upbeat earnings results. Morgan Stanley
Analysts said investors remained cautious following the market's inability to post convincing gains in the past few days.
We are entering an intense period -- whilst over the longer term, the bulls have clearly taken the lead, the short term appears to be a little more cloudy, said John Murphy, analyst at ODL Securities.
The dollar fell against a basket of major currencies <.DXY> heading for its 10th loss in 15 trading days this month. The index has also been in the red for seven of the past eight months.
Sentiment toward the currency continues to be hurt by the prospect of U.S. interest rates staying at exceptionally low levels for longer than most other currencies.
The New Zealand dollar shone meanwhile after New Zealand's central bank chief Alan Bollard said a high currency was not necessarily an obstacle to raising the cash rate.
The euro rose 0.1 percent against the dollar compared with late New York trade at $1.4944, having hit a 14-month high of $1.4994 the day before.
Euro zone government bond yields were flat to higher, with the 10-year Bund yielding 3.266 percent.
(Additional reporting by Atul Prakash, editing by Mike Peacock)