BENGALURU: Indian shares kicked off August trading on a positive note on Monday, after having logged their best gains since November 2020 last month, led by sharp advances in automakers.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.6% to 17,261.05, as of 0500 GMT, and the S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.55% to 57,887.50.

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. The monthly sales data from automakers on Monday will also be a guiding factor, Gandhi said.

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, oil prices dropped as weak July manufacturing data from China and Japan weighed on demand outlook, while investors braced for this week's meeting of officials from OPEC and other top producers on supply adjustments.

In domestic trading, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd were the top gainers on the Nifty 50 index, climbing 6.2% and 3.7%, respectively.

The Nifty auto hit a record high, turning the best performing sub-index, after advancing as much as 3.3% in morning trade.The index jumped 7.2% in July.

Among individual stock moves SpiceJet climbed as much as 5.6% after it said flight operations normalised following the aviation regulator's order to halve fleet capacity.

Indian Oil Corp Ltd slipped 3% after the country's top refiner on Friday reported a quarterly net loss for the first time in more than two years, as it sold fuel at a discount.

In broader Asia, shares were sluggish on Monday as disappointing Chinese economic data raised doubts on sustained Wall Street's rally.

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru and additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Dhanya Ann Thoppil)