By Sachin Ravikumar
BENGALURU, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose for a fifth straight session on Thursday, ahead of the expiry of derivative contracts for August, with financials leading the gains and real estate stocks jumping after a state in the country reduced a tax on property.
India's main stock indexes have rallied 4.7% so far this month on optimism around coronavirus vaccines and upbeat commentary from corporate managements signalling a pick up in business activity.
The NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI was up 0.38% at 11,594.45 by 0500 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN was 0.46% higher at 39,254.73. Mortgage lender HDFC Ltd HDFC.NS and ICICI Bank Ltd ICBK.NS were the top two boosts to the Nifty 50.
Real estate stocks .NIFTYREAL jumped 5.9% and were on course for their best one-day gain since mid-June after Maharashtra state, home to Mumbai, reportedly cut a tax on property to support the ailing sector.
The real estate index has risen 15% this month alone, although it is still down 23% since the start of the year.
Stocks indirectly tied to the real estate sector, such as mortgage lenders and paints makers, were also benefiting from the tax cut, said Nagendra Solanki, head of fundamental research at Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers in Mumbai.
"In a way, we're seeing sectors that were not participating in the rally now starting to participate," he said.
Shares in cigarette makers including VST Industries Ltd VSTI.NS and Godfrey Phillips India Ltd GDFR.NS jumped after a report that an Indian parliamentary panel recommended allowing foreign direct investment in the tobacco sector.
Meanwhile, other Asian markets took a breather amid renewed Sino-U.S. tensions and as investors looked ahead to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole symposium. MKTS/GLOB
(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; editing by Uttaresh.V)
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