World stocks steadied on Wednesday as a mixed set of key corporate earnings injected caution among investors about the state of the economy, encouraging them to buy the low-yielding dollar and yen.

In Europe, the world's third-largest brewer Heineken fell 4 percent after posting a worse-than-expected drop in beer volumes, while Swedish home appliances maker Electrolux jumped 10 percent after posting a surprise core profit.

World stocks have risen more than 25 percent since hitting a 6-year low in March but investors are pausing to assess the health of the banking sector and other corporates to see if the recovery in risk assets can be sustained.

In the medium term we're trying to find a bottom...., said John Haynes, strategist at Rensburg Sheppard.

The test is the earnings season, that stocks suffer bad news but react well to that. So far they're not passing that test but not failing it decisively either. MSCI world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS> was largely unchanged on the day. The FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> wiped earlier losses to rise 0.1 percent while Asian stocks <.MIAPJ0000PUS> fell 0.7 percent.

Pharmaceuticals group Roche lost 10 percent after a late stage trial of cancer drug Avastin showed that it did not prevent the recurrence of colon cancer in patients who have undergone surgery.

Emerging stocks <.MSCIEF> was down 0.1 percent.

U.S. crude oil fell 0.3 percent to $48.37 a barrel.

The low-yielding dollar <.DXY> fell 0.3 percent against a basket of major currencies.

Currency markets have chosen to stick to a risk-averse outlook and the vast majority of risk currencies have yet to recoup their losses since Monday, UBS said in a note to clients.

The optimism which has driven markets higher for the last 6 weeks has generally peaked and we expect upcoming releases on the data front, in addition to policy assessments, to inject some more realism into markets.

The June bund futures lost 50 ticks as European stocks turned higher.

(Additional reporting by Sitaraman Shankar)