Nikkei rises in choppy trade; exporters trim losses on USD/JPY
* Dollar flirts with 113 yen-mark
* Oil shares underperform on weak oil prices in previous session
* Futures trade dominates market direction - analysts
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose in choppy trade on Monday morning as the dollar strengthened against the yen, which helped exporters trim earlier losses and buoyed overall market sentiment.
But oil prices, which slipped in the previous session before rebounding on Monday, hurt oil shares. Inpex Corp stumbled more than 6 percent, while Japan Petroleum Exploration Co shed 1.6 percent.
The Nikkei gained 0.8 percent to 16,100.01 in midmorning trade after falling to as low as 15,816.83 earlier.
"The stock market and the currency market are staring at each other," said Chihiro Ohta, general manager at investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities. "Investors are trading on futures mostly, and the futures trade will likely set the direction in the market today."
He said that foreign investors such as hedge funds and algorithm traders were seen to be the main players. Continuación...