Japanese stocks slip before Fed; but miners, shippers rise

TOKYO, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei slipped on Tuesday, reversing earlier gains as investors turned cautious ahead of this week's U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting.

The Nikkei share average fell 0.3 percent to 22,866.17, after traversing positive and negative territory. The broader Topix eked out a marginal gain, rising 0.1 percent to 1,815.08.

The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates in its two-day policy meeting ending on Wednesday. Investors are now looking for clues on its policy plans for next year.

Large cap stocks fell, with KDDI Corp and Fanuc Corp shedding 1.3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

But mining and shipping shares gained, with Inpex Corp soaring 3.5 percent, Mitsui OSK Lines surging 1.9 percent and Kawasaki Kisen advancing 1.5 percent.

Shippers' gains were supported after the Baltic dry index of freight charges rose overnight to its highest level since January 2014.

Banking, securities and insurance stocks were also in demand. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 2.3 percent, Nomura Holdings gained 1.2 percent and Dai-ichi Life Holdings was up 0.8 percent. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Kim Coghill)