World stocks fell on Wednesday, stepping back from the previous session's three-month high, and the low-yielding yen firmed as news of job cuts at Swiss bank UBS and weak U.S. and Chinese data fanned economic concerns. UBS warned of a first-quarter loss of nearly 2 billion Swiss francs and said it would cut a further 8,700 jobs, weighing on other banking shares.

Compounding the corporate gloom, Dutch chip equipment maker ASML reported a Q1 net loss while India's Infosys Technologies forecast its first decline in annual revenue.

Latest economic data has been grim too. Surprisingly weak U.S. retail sales data were followed by a Chinese local media report that China's economy probably grew at its slowest annual rate on record in Q1.

The setback in stock markets is not really a surprise because the market rallied strongly over the last couple of weeks while the fundamental context didn't change that much, said Patrick Jacq, euro zone interest rate strategist at BNP Paribas in Paris.

MSCI world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS> fell 0.4 percent, having hit its highest level since mid-January on Tuesday.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> lost 0.5 percent.

Wall Street fell on Tuesday as fears grew that Goldman Sachs' $5 billion share sale could prompt others to follow suit. Major banks reporting this week include JP Morgan and Citigroup following better-than-expected results from Goldman on Monday.

More bank news will be coming along this week and the risk now looms to the downside, given the better news already priced in, Societe Generale said in a note to clients.

Emerging stocks <.MSCIEF> fell 0.6 percent, having hit a six-month peak on Tuesday.

U.S. crude oil rose 0.8 percent to $49.77 a barrel.

The June bund futures rose 37 ticks.

The low-yielding yen rose 0.3 percent to 98.55 per dollar while the euro also fell a third percent to $1.3216. The dollar <.DXY> rose a quarter percent against a basket of major currencies.

(Additional reporting by Emelia Sithole-Materise, editing by Mike Peacock)