TOKYO (AP) _ The U.S. dollar traded higher against the yen early Monday after Japan reported a larger-than-expected contraction in the economy in October-December. Tokyo stocks slipped.

The dollar bought 106.51 yen, up 0.23 yen from late Friday in Tokyo and also above its late New York level of 106.22 yen on Friday.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 33.91 points, or 0.17 percent, to 19,716.49 points in the first 30 minutes of trading. On Friday, the average closed up 88.07 points, or 0.45 percent.

In currency dealings, the dollar strengthened slightly against the yen after Japan's Economic Planning Agency said gross domestic product, the total value of Japan's produced goods and services, fell 1.4 percent in October-December over the July-September period.

The decline in GDP, more than expected because market analysts had predicted a fall of only 0.9 percent, raised doubts about whether the nation can overcome its worst economic slump in decades.

In other currencies, the euro was traded at 102.38 yen, down from 102.84 yen late Friday in Tokyo.

On the stock market, prices started lower as some investors were discouraged by the GDP data, a key indicator of the economy's viability.

Still, the impact of the EPA announcement appeared limited.

``This was factored in for the most part,'' said Kunihiro Hatae, general manager of the stock division at Tokyo Securities.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 81.91 to 9,928.82 at Friday's close.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was down 23.13 points, or 1.42 percent, to 1,710.17 points. The TOPIX closed down 10.47 points, or 0.64 percent, the day before.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond was unquoted in early trading. On Friday, it settled at 1.8200 percent and its price stood at 99.83.

(km-dj)