World stocks slipped on Tuesday from the previous day's six-week high and oil fell nearly 2 percent, while the yen rose broadly as investors grew cautious after a recent rally in riskier assets.
Sterling hit a one-week low against the dollar, weighed by data showing a widening UK trade deficit and comments by Fitch Ratings that the UK sovereign credit profile has deteriorated.
U.S. technology shares rallied on Monday after JP Morgan Chase recommended Cisco Systems
But Asia and Europe failed to keep up the momentum and U.S. stock futures pointed to a weaker open on Wall Street later.
Robust corporate performance and upbeat fourth-quarter corporate results have helped investors push the benchmark MSCI world stocks up to a break-even level for the year after an early pullback, giving investors incentives to pause.
The market had a good recovery after correction lows and it would be tough in the near term, even though you are still in a cyclical bull market, to just race ahead. People are still cautious, said Bernard McAlinden, investment strategist at NCB Stockbrokers in Dublin. The MSCI world equity index fell 0.4 percent while the FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> lost 0.8 percent. U.S. stock futures fell around 0.4 percent.
Emerging stocks were down 0.3 percent.
U.S. crude oil was one of the biggest movers, falling 2 percent to $80.22 a barrel, after hitting an 8-week peak above $82 a day earlier. Forecasts for growing U.S. crude inventories tempered recent bullish sentiment.
Forecasts of yet another build in U.S. crude stocks show the disconnect between the fundamentals of oil supply and demand, which are quite bearish, and hopes of economic recovery, which are bullish, said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.
But the market doesn't seem to want to hear negative news for long and tends to react more strongly on the upside. It is two steps upwards, one step down at the moment.
Bund futures rose 46 ticks.
The dollar <.DXY> was up 0.4 percent against a basket of major currencies. The yen rose 0.6 percent to 89.82 per dollar while the euro lost 0.6 percent to $1.3557.
Sterling fell as low as $1.4940. Fitch also said urgency for fiscal adjustment was greatest for the UK, Spain and France among the larger AAA sovereigns.
The premium Greek/German government bond yield spread widened 7 basis points to 295 bps, while Portuguese/German and Spain/German spreads also widened.
(Additional reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by Stephen Nisbet)