Sensex marginally up 18 points

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SummarySensex rose by over 18 points in early trade today, led by recovery in stocks of consumer durables.

The BSE benchmark Sensex rose by over 18 points in early trade today, led by recovery in stocks of consumer durables, power and healthcare sectors amid emergence of buying by funds.

The 30-share barometer recovered by 18.29 points, or 0.09 per cent, after yesterday's losses, to 18,864.55.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index, Nifty moved up by 5.50 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 5,744.25.

Brokers said fresh buying by participants at select counters helped sentiments to improve but a weak trend in the in the Asian markets following overnight losses on the US market on worries over looming fiscal crisis restricted the gains.

Stocks of United Spirits shot up by 5.23 per cent to Rs 1,414 after reports that the Vijaya-Mallya led UB Group is understood to have reached a deal with world's largest spirit maker Diageo for a stake sale in the company.

In the Asian region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell by 0.33 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei shed 0.86 per cent in early trade today.

The US dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.94 per cent lower in yesterday's trade.

GLOBAL MARKETS ROUND UP

Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange fell 0.1 percent. The MSCI-Asia Pacific index excluding Japan also fell 0.3 percent.

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday and could be in line for more weakness as worries about Washington's ability to find a timely solution to the fiscal cliff dominate investor thinking in coming weeks.

Asian shares fell further on Friday, weighed down by worries over the risk of a recession in the world's largest economy as the United States faces a looming fiscal crisis, while Europe still awaits a bailout for Greece, keeping investor risk appetite subdued.

FACTORS TO WATCH

National and regional leaders of the ruling Congress party will meet outside New Delhi to look at party strategy ahead of state and national elections in 2013/2014.

Earnings on Friday: State Bank of India, Tata Steel, Coal India, Hindustan Petroleum Corp , Bharat Petroleum Corp, Indian Oil Corp

India's foreign reserves data (1130 GMT)

INDIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

TOP NEWS

Diageo Plc was close to a deal for a stake in Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya's United Spirits Ltd after months of talks, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, with a deal likely to be announced as soon as Friday.

Orient-Express Hotels Ltd rejected a $1.2

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