Sri Lanka shares ease on profit-taking, rupee steady

(Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares slipped on Monday in thin trade from a two-month closing high hit in the previous session due to some profit-taking and month-end settlements.

At 0615 GMT, the main stock index was 0.16 percent weaker at 7,257.42, slipping from its highest close since May 25 hit on Friday.

It hit a two-month closing high on Friday as hopes of improved corporate earnings and political stability after the parliamentary polls next month boosted investor sentiment.

Turnover stood at 287.4 million rupees ($2.15 million) in early trade on Monday.

"Market has run out of steam which it had last week with a bit of profit-taking and month-end settlements, but there was not much of selling pressure," said Dimantha Mathew, a research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Analysts also expect Sri Lankan companies to post strong results for the April-June quarter.

Hopes of political stability after the Aug. 17 parliament election also helped sentiment, they said.

The election is expected to help strengthen President Sirisena’s political position with a possible victory for the current ruling coalition.

The Sri Lankan rupee was steady in dull trade as a state-owned bank maintained its dollar-selling rate at 133.70, dealers said.

"There is lot of importer dollar demand. But because of the state bank offering the rupee, it is trading steady," a currency dealer said. (COLOMBO/July 27/2015)

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