The dollar stabilized in early trade on Tuesday after losing ground in New York, while Asian shares slipped as investors shrugged off upbeat U.S. home sale data and took a breather after recent gains.

The dollar <.DXY> recovered ground as investors in Asia grew more cautious ahead of a string of U.S. economic data this week and the start of the Christmas shopping season on Friday after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, which will be a key test of consumer confidence.

The dollar <.DXY> was up 0.2 percent against a basket of major currencies after falling in New York where the market took comments by U.S. Federal Reserve official James Bullard on Sunday as further evidence the U.S. would maintain its very low interest rate policy for some time.

Dealers in Tokyo said some investors on Tuesday were closing dollar short-positions ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Asian shares slid despite a solid performance on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones <.DJI> rose 1.3 percent as data showed existing home sales reached their highest level in two-and-a-half years.

The MSCI index of Asia Pacific stocks traded outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> was down 0.4 percent but it has already rallied 66 percent this year, leading some investors to question whether economic data is strong enough to justify further gains at this stage.

Revised third-quarter U.S. GDP data and a U.S. consumer confidence report later on Tuesday will give more clues on the strength of the world's largest economy.

Sales at U.S. retailers on Friday after the holiday could yield vital clues to the recovery power of American consumers, whose spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy. They could also signal whether Asian exporters can expect a rush of late orders before Christmas.

The Thomson Reuters index of regional shares <.TRXFLDAXPU> was virtually unchanged.

It's a day-to-day situation. Any snippets of good news are well received here, but the gains are not necessarily sustained, said David Spry, research manager at F.W. Holst in Australia, where the main stock index <.AXJO> slipped 0.2 percent.

The market has anticipated a fair bit already and we haven't got much to show for it yet, results don't come out till February next year, he said, referring to the next corporate profit reporting season.


Japan's Nikkei index <.N225> dipped 0.5 percent as a firm yen hit shares of exporters and investors worried about the economy.

Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii said Japanese demand was weak and fiscal policy alone could not revive it, putting pressure on the Bank of Japan to respond to deflation.

Japan Airlines <9205.T> tumbled 7 percent, hitting a record low at one point, on fears the struggling carrier could face bankruptcy and on news that trading house Mitsui & Co <8031.T> had sold its entire stake in the firm.

As the dollar steadied, gold retreated to $1,165.20 after hitting a new record high at $1,173.50 on Monday.

Oil prices were little changed at around $77.50 a barrel ahead of a weekly inventory report due later from the American Petroleum Institute.

The market is basically in a holding pattern, awaiting more data, said Peter McGuire, managing director of Commodity Warrants Australia.

Growing jitters over looming monthly economic data in South Korea sent Korean government bonds lower and the five-year government bond yield rose three basis points to 4.83 percent.

(Additional reporting by Victoria Thieberger in Melbourne and Jennifer Tan in Singapore; Editing by Kim Coghill)