MUMBAI: A new milestone eluded the Sensex on Tuesday, though it moved tantalisingly close to the 13000-level, as profit taking by funds and general investors pulled it down by 44 points.

The market barometer Sensex literally came close to the much-awaited 13000-level when it rose to the intra-trade record high of 12994.45 on hopes that India Inc would surpass all its previous earning records.

However, investors’ temptation to take profits at higher levels pulled the BSE barometer down to a low of 12819.35 before settling at 12883.83, a net fall of 44.35 points.

The index has been struggling since May 11 to reach the 13K milestone, with every surge attracting profit taking. Similarly, the National Stock Exchange’s S&P CNX Nifty eased by 8.95 points to 3715.
Attributing profit selling to the government’s warning that “inability and reluctance” to more reforms was driving away foreign private capital, which could impede growth momentum, brokers said the market remained strong on reports about GDP growth beyond 8 per cent in this fiscal. Domestic mutual funds were believed to be sellers at the higher levels but retailers and foreign funds extended support to the market after touching the day’s low.

Selling activity was witnessed despite market leaders such as TCS, HDFC Bank and HCL Technologies posting better than expected Q2 results.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed marginally down by 81.17 points, Singapore Strait Times by 31.85 points and Korea’s Kopsi by 5.42 points but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 4.64 points