India’s benchmark gauge of protection against stock market swings climbed to a one-week high amid the longest stretch of index option purchases by foreigners in seven years.

The India VIX Index rose 2.2 percent to 17.65 at 11:59 a.m. in Mumbai, poised for a one-week high. Foreign investors bought a net $ 84.9 million of CNX Nifty Index options on Jan. 16, capping a 22nd day of purchases, the longest streak since the period ended Aug. 7, 2007, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The put-call ratio rose to 1.30, the highest level since Oct. 30.

“Foreigners are buying at-the-money puts to hedge their massive cash positions,” Manoj Vayalar, assistant vice president of derivatives at Religare Securities Ltd., said in a phone interview. “Foreigners are getting cautious.”

International investors purchased $ 274 million of stocks on Jan. 15, paring this year’s outflows to $ 41.3 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Foreigners bought $ 16.1 billion of local equities last year, the second-highest amount among eight Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg.

The 50-member Nifty rose 0.4 percent to 8,547.20, on course for a third day of advances. The gauge, which climbed 31 percent last year for its best annual increase since 2009, is valued at 15.6 times its projected 12-month earnings, compared with a multiple of 10.6 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Santanu Chakraborty in Mumbai at schakrabor11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at mpatterson10@bloomberg.net Phani Varahabhotla, Ravil Shirodkar