August 6, 2018 / 7:22 AM / 10 months ago

Indian shares gain for second straight session; financials lead

* NSE index up 0.36 pct, BSE index 0.54 pct higher

* HDFC AMC surges on market debut

* Nifty PSU Bank index hits over 5-month high

By Abinaya Vijayaraghavan

Aug 6 (Reuters) - Indian shares extended gains to a second straight session on Monday, as financial stocks continued to rise amid positive global cues, while HDFC Asset Management Co’s shares soared 67 percent on their market debut.

Asian shares rose on Monday, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gaining 0.33 percent, as China’s efforts to stop sharp declines in its currency and capital flight supported sentiment in the region. However, escalating Sino-U.S. trade conflict capped gains.

Meanwhile, buying momentum from late last week, after the country’s weatherman forecast average rainfall during the final two months of the crucial monsoon season, continued on Monday with Hero MotoCorp and Maruti Suzuku India gaining more than one percent each.

The southwest monsoon that spans from June to September delivers nearly 70 percent of rains that India needs to water its farms and recharge reservoirs and aquifers. Nearly half of the country’s farmland, without any irrigation cover, depends on annual rains to grow a number of crops.

“We’re tracking global sentiment ... monsoon update has helped sentiment and that will continue to be a factor in the coming weeks,” said Jayant Manglik, president - retail distribution, Religare Broking.

The broader NSE index was up 0.42 percent at 11,409.00 as of 0550 GMT while the benchmark BSE index was trading 0.5 percent higher at 37,744.58.

The Nifty PSU Bank index rose as much as 2.3 percent to its highest since Feb. 15. Top lender State Bank of India added 2.2 percent in early trade.

Private sector lenders ICICI Bank Ltd rose 2.9 percent while Axis Bank Ltd shares were trading 3.3 percent higher.

Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan

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