FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index held steady in early deals on Wednesday, ticking fractionally higher and holding above the level at which it started the year, although investors stayed cautious as worries over the global growth outlook and European sovereign debt remained.

At 08:11 a.m., the blue-chip index was up 32.85 points, or 0.1 percent, at 5,598.40, having dived 2.2 percent on Tuesday, its second-worst percentage drop this year.

Miners <.FTNMX1770> provided a modest bounce back, having led the fallers in the previous session, with the sector drawing some support from better than expected first-quarter numbers from U.S. aluminium firm Alcoa .

Banks <.FTNMX8350> also saw a modest rally as Spanish bond yields eased back, relieving some of the fears over the European debt situation.

(Reporting by Jon Hopkins)