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Sri Lankan shares close at 2-month high

COLOMBO, July 24 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares rose for a third straight session on Friday and closed at their highest in two months, as expectations of strong corporate earnings and political stability after the parliamentary polls next month boosted investor sentiment.

The main stock index ended higher 0.78 percent, or 56.43 points, at 7,269.05, its highest since May 25.

Turnover was 1.61 billion rupees ($12.05 million), more than this year’s daily average of 1.06 billion rupees.

Foreign investors, who have been net sellers of 401.4 million rupees worth of shares so far this year, were net buyers of 77 million rupees on Friday.

"Next week we could see some dip amid month-end settlements. But overall it’s positive sentiment," said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, chief operating officer of Richard Pieris Securities (Pvt) Ltd.

Analysts also expect local companies to report strong financial results for the April-June quarter.

Shares in Lion Brewery Ceylon Plc rose 1.81 percent, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc rose 1.84 percent.

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