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Real estate stocks push Sensex, Nifty higher

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/Files

BENGALURU, (Reuters) - Indian shares extended gains on Thursday, led by a rally in real estate stocks after the government approved 100 billion rupees ($1.41 billion) for a fund to help clear stalled housing projects.

State Bank of India (SBI) SBI.NS and state-run Life Insurance Corporation of India will contribute an additional 150 billion rupees to help ease financial stress on the real estate sector, Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman said late on Wednesday.

The move pushed the Nifty realty index .NIFTYREAL as much as 3.1% higher to a near four-month peak, with Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd INBF.NS surging over 12%.

Other real estate firms such as Sobha Ltd SOBH.NS and Prestige Estates Projects Ltd PREG.NS rose over 8% and 4%, respectively.

The NSE Nifty 50 Index .NSEI was up 0.35% at 12,800.05, as of 0355 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex index .BSESN rose 0.42% to 40,632.11.

The Nifty PSU Bank index .NIFTYPSU, which tracks the country's state-run lenders, firmed 0.7%, with SBI gaining almost 2%.

State-run oil marketing companies Hindustan Petroleum Corp HPCL.NS and Bharat Petroleum Corp BPCL.NS inched up 0.93% and 0.51%, respectively, ahead of their quarterly results due later on Thursday.

Meanwhile, shares of Aurobindo Pharma Ltd ARBN.NS fell as much as 1.3% after the company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter for few of its facilities in Hyderabad.

Elsewhere, private sector lender Yes Bank Ltd YESB.NS slipped nearly 2% after Moody's placed the bank's ratings under review on Wednesday.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni