TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar edged lower against the yen early Thursday as Japan's government announced a new economic stimulus package. Japanese stocks moved slightly higher.

The dollar bought 104.62 yen, down 0.14 yen from late Wednesday in Tokyo and also below its late New York level of 104.65 yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 31.26 points, or 0.17 percent, to 18,536.61 points in the first 30 minutes of trading. On Wednesday, the average closed up 275.71 points, or 1.51 percent.

In currency dealings, the dollar drifted lower early against the yen as players were surprised by newspaper reports that Japan's latest stimulus package would total $172 billion, a much larger than expected figure.

But players bought back the U.S. currency after the official announcement, traders said.

In other currencies, the euro was traded at 109.25 yen, up from 109.00 yen late Wednesday in Tokyo.

On the stock market, prices started rather mixed, with selling in some high technology and communications issues as investors locked in profits amid healthy market sentiment, traders said.

Despite some profit-taking, overall market sentiment is rather solid, traders said, citing the government's economic package.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 19.58 points to 10,597.74 at Wednesday's finish, its second straight loss, as inflation worries pushed down blue chips.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 2.65 points, or 0.17 percent, to 1,596.58 points. The TOPIX closed up 21.53 points, or 1.37 percent, the day before.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond stood at 1.7950 percent, unchanged from Wednesday's finish. Its price remained unchanged at 100.04.