Asian shares edge up, US dollar steadies after drop

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares tentatively rose in early trade on Tuesday, while the US dollar steadied after investors locked in some gains overnight on its recent rally.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2 per cent in early trade, shrugging off a choppy, losing session on Wall Street overnight.

Japan's Nikkei stock average dropped 0.3 per cent ahead of the outcome of the Bank of Japan's policy meeting later in the session.

The BOJ is widely expected to maintain its massive monetary stimulus programme and offer a bleaker view on factory output, after signs Japan's economy was hit harder than expected by a national sales tax increase in April.

Against the yen, the dollar edged up about 0.1 per cent to 108.91 yen, pulling away from an overnight low of 108.65 but still well shy of a six-year peak of 110.09 yen marked last week.

Gold also steadied at $1,205.90 an ounce. In a volatile session on Monday, it marked its biggest one-day gain in two months, after first bumping to a 15-month low.