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Sri Lankan shares end at more-than-5-month high

COLOMBO, July 30 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended at their highest in more than five months on Thursday, as investors picked up risky assets on expectations of strong corporate earnings and political stability after the Aug. 17 parliamentary polls.

The main stock index ended up 0.25 percent at 7,332.05, its highest since Feb. 13.

Turnover was at 1.78 billion rupees ($13.33 million), more than this year’s daily average of 1.09 billion rupees.

"The market ended the holiday-shortened week on a positive note with local investors topping the turnover charts. Institutional and high net worth activity was seen," TKS Securities said in a note to investors.

Gains were led by large-caps. Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc rose 0.98 percent after it reported a 16.6 percent rise in net profit for April-June, while Ceylon Cold Stores Plc gained 14.10 percent and Nestle Lanka Plc rose 0.53 percent.

Foreign investors, who have bought a net 955.9 million rupees worth of shares so far this year, were net sellers of 444.8 million rupees on Thursday.

Analysts expect local companies to post strong results for the April-June quarter.

Expectations of political stability after the Aug. 17 parliament elections also helped sentiment, they said.

Markets will be closed on Friday for a special Buddhist religious holiday.





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