HONG KONG – Asian shares fell on Tuesday following hawkish comments from two US Federal Reserve officials overnight with investors turning cautious ahead of key inflation data, while China's reopening after COVID-19 restrictions pushed commodities higher.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.02 percent in early trade.

"The main theme overnight was cautiousness in the equity space as stocks pared gains after hawkish comments from two Fed officials. Raphael Bostic and Mary Daly said the Fed would likely hike (interest) rates to above 5 percent and hold them there for some time," Commerzbank said in a client note.

The S&P500 index began the week on a bullish tone with a more than 1.4 percent increase in early US trading on Monday before giving up all the gains to close a touch lower.

The US dollar and US treasury yields remained under pressure, with the yield on US 10-year notes edging higher on Tuesday by 1.14 basis point to 3.5284 percent, from 3.517 percent late on Monday. The dollar index fell 0.068 percent.

"Sentiment may turn more cautious ahead of the US CPI (consumer price index) release on Thursday, dampening the 'risk on' trades initiated as a result of the optimism around China's reopening," Mizuho Bank said in a note.

If US consumer price data confirms cooling seen in the most recent monthly jobs report, Atlanta Fed Bank President Bostic said he would have to take a quarter point increase "more seriously and to move in that direction". 

Copper prices hit their highest in more than six months, driven higher by an improving demand outlook after China's reopening, while zinc climbed 5 percent to its highest since Dec 15.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.57 percent, bucking the regional trend.

Core consumer prices in Tokyo, released on Tuesday, rose a faster-than-expected 4.0 percent in December from a year earlier, underpinning market expectations that the Bank of Japan may phase out its massive stimulus by tweaking its yield curve control policy. 

In Australia, shares lost 0.19 percent in early trading.

Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday as traders awaited clarity on rate hikes. US crude fell 0.07 percent to $74.58 per barrel and Brent was at $79.51, down 0.18 percent.

Gold prices inched higher, adding 0.1 percent to $1,872.66 an ounce.