Indian stocks advanced yesterday, with the benchmark index completing its longest run of gains in about 18 months, amid expectation the US Federal Reserve would unveil measures to boost economic growth. The BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, rose 0.1% to 18,021.16 at the close in Mumbai. The gauge has climbed 4.1% in seven days through yesterday, the longest winning streak since March 31, 2011. Data may show today that Indian inflation accelerated to 7.05% last month from 6.87% in July, according to the median estimate of 34 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The Reserve Bank of India meets for its next policy review on Monday. “There is expectation that the Fed may provide some fresh stimulus,” Sashi Krishnan, chief investment officer of Birla Sun Life Insurance Co, said in an interview in Mumbai yesterday. “Every stimulus is having less incremental effect than the earlier one on the market.” India’s benchmark wholesale price index has stayed above 5% since December 2009. RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said on August 28 policy makers must reduce the inflation rate to “more acceptable levels” of 5% or less. Consumer prices rose 9.86% in July, faster than the 1.8% in China, 5.2% in Brazil and 5.6% in Russia, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Subbarao left the benchmark repurchase rate at 8% for a second meeting in July. The rupee fell the most in a week on concern an economic slowdown and inflation near 7% will deter investors from buying local assets. The currency declined 0.3% to 55.4150 per dollar in Mumbai, the biggest drop since September 5, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. HSBC Holdings cut its forecast for India’s growth in the year through March yesterday to 5.7% from 6.2%. Factory output grew 0.1% in July, official data showed on Wednesday, falling short of the 0.5% gain predicted by economists in a Bloomberg survey. From gulf times.