Reuters - Equities markets in Asia extended gains Tuesday and the dollar slipped with market participant sentiment supported by data from China and optimism about COVID-19 vaccines.

China's blue chips added 0.4% thanks to data showing China's industrial output rose 5.6% in August from a year ago - expanding for a fifth consecutive month.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.3% for a fourth consecutive day of gains.

Japan's Nikkei shed 0.8% while South Korean shares rose 0.3% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.1%.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga won a landslide victory in a ruling party leadership election - paving the way for the country's first change of leader in nearly eight years.

Strategists expect Japan share markets to get support from Suga's win.

"He's seen as someone who's particularly stock market friendly. The fact that we've got political certainty for the next two years from someone who's connected to the free market is going to be good news for Japan," Nomura's joint head of Asia Pacific equity research Jim McCafferty said.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.3%, while EUROSTOXX 50 futures eased 0.2%

So far this year, gains in Asia have been led by technology stocks.

"From an asset class point of view, if you require to generate any income from your investment portfolio, then equities are one of the few places you can do that because bond yields are so low," McCafferty, who prefers North Asian companies because of their stronger balance sheets, said.

U.S. retail sales figures from August are due Wednesday.

Participants will look to central banks for direction with the U.S. Federal Reserve starting a two-day policy meeting Tuesday - its first since announcing a shift to a more tolerant stance on inflation in August. The Bank of Japan and the Bank of England announce their respective policy decisions Thursday.

Markets will concentrate on projections from Fed members on the U.S. growth outlook and on any details about what the bank intends to do to encourage inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 1.2% and the S&P 500 rose 1.3% while the Nasdaq composite added 1.9%.

"We remain neutral stocks versus bonds as we balance extended equity valuations, fading fiscal support and upcoming U.S. election risks against still ultralow interest rates and a gradually improving economic environment," analysts at T. Rowe Price said in an international asset allocation report.

They favor cyclical exposure through small-cap and emerging markets equities - anticipating a gradual recovery as world economies emerge from coronavirus-related shutdowns.

U.S. stocks gained after drugmaker AstraZeneca said it resumed its British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine - one of the most advanced in development.

The dollar index slipped to 93.029 - dipping further from a one-month high of 93.664 touched last week. Its low last week of 92.695 is seen as an immediate support.

The euro ticked up to $1.1867 having gained for four consecutive sessions until Monday.

Against the safe-haven yen, the dollar traded at 105.73 yen, having touched a two-week low of 105.55 yen Monday.

Brent crude was down 3 cents, or 0.1%, at $39.58, reversing earlier gains. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 2 cents, or 0.1%, at $37.24 a barrel.

Gold prices put on 0.3% - extending a rise in the previous session.