* Higher oil prices power dollar above 114 yen, lifting
* Oil exploration stocks outperform, with mining sector
TOKYO Dec 1 A weaker yen helped power Japan's
Nikkei share average to 11-month highs on Thursday, while many
energy shares made strong gains after OPEC agreed to cut crude
output for the first time since 2008 in order to boost oil
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which
accounts for a third of global oil supply, agreed to cut
production from next month by over 3 percent to reduce a supply
glut that has kept oil prices subdued.
As oil prices raced higher on the news, the prospect of
rising inflation reinforced expectations for increases in U.S.
interest rates, drawing investors to the dollar, which struck a
9 1/2-month high above 114 yen.
"There seems to be a trend lately of selling the yen, and
buying Nikkei futures," said Norihito Fujito, senior investment
strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley.
"We have to see how far the yen falls against the dollar
before we can guess how far the Nikkei can rise," he added.
"It's a very emotionally-driven market right now, chasing
overseas factors, with everyone trying to gauge how strong the
The Nikkei was up 2.3 percent at the end of morning
trading at 18,722.38, while the broader Topix added 1.9
percent to 1,496.80.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 1.9 percent to
Oil-exploration stocks outperformed, with the Tokyo Stock
Exchange mining sector subindex surging 10.3 percent.
Inpex Corp rose 11 percent, marking its biggest
intraday gain since March 2011, while Japan Petroleum
Exploration Co jumped 13 percent.
Engineering company JGC Corp rose 8.9 percent after
the Nikkei reported that company received an order from Sumitomo
Chemical Co to build a plant to make feed additives.
Daido Steel Co Ltd rose 4.1 percent after it said
it will buy back up to 2 million of its shares, worth up to 1
billion yen ($8.75 million).
The market shrugged off data released early on Thursday that
showed Japanese companies cut spending on plant and equipment in
July-September by 1.3 percent from the same period last year,
the first annual decline since early 2013, a sign capital
expenditures and corporate confidence remain lacklustre.
Bank of Japan board member Makoto Sakurai said in a speech
on Thursday that the government and companies should play a
larger role in pulling Japan's economy out of subdued inflation
and growth by raising wages and promoting innovation.
($1 = 114.3500 yen)
(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Simon