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BENGALURU: Indian shares kicked off August on a positive note on Monday, with benchmark indexes hitting a three-month high led by a rally in automobile stocks on the back of robust monthly sales data.

At the close of trading, the NSE Nifty 50 index rose 1.06% to 17,340.05 and the S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.95% to 58,115.50. Both the indexes jumped to their highest since April, after logging their best month since November 2020 in the previous session.

The sentiment is boosted by positive global cues, foreign investors buying in July and fall in oil prices, said Anita Gandhi, a whole-time director at Arihant Capital Markets.

Foreign investors purchased a net $618.05 million worth of Indian equities in July, marking the first monthly inflow of funds since September 2021, according to Refinitiv data.

Meanwhile, India’s factory activity expanded at its quickest pace in eight months in July, driven by growth in orders and output as demand continued to improve, a private survey showed.

Indian rupee at over 3-week high on weak dollar, equity inflows

Oil prices on Monday dropped after weak July manufacturing data from China and Japan weighed on the demand outlook, while investors awaited this week’s meeting of officials from OPEC and other top producers on supply adjustments.

In domestic trading, Tata Motors Ltd and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd were the top gainers on the Nifty 50 index, climbing 6.6% and 6.3%, respectively.

Tata Motors reported a 52% jump in total domestic sales in July from a year ago, and Mahindra and Mahindra said domestic passenger vehicles sales rose 33% last month.

The Nifty auto sub-index rose 3.3% to scale an all-time high and was the best-performing.

Among other individual stock moves, agrochemicals maker UPL Ltd climbed 3.5% after posting a 29.5% jump in quarterly net profit.

Globally, stocks hit seven-week highs on Monday, buoyed by recent strong corporate earnings and easing concerns about hefty interest rate hikes.

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