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Sri Lankan shares end higher on Keells, Dialog Axiata

OLOMBO, July 10 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares edged higher on Friday, gaining for a second session, led by market heavyweight John Keells Holdings Plc and Dialog Axiata Plc.

However, share sales by foreign investors continued for an eighth straight session.

Gains were capped as political uncertainty ahead of the Aug. 17 parliamentary elections dented investor appetite.

The main stock index ended up 0.53 percent or 37.07 points at 6,984.12. On Wednesday, it hit a three-month low.

"Investors picked up the battered shares," said Reshan Wediwardana, research analyst at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd. "Foreigners are exiting with political uncertainty and expecting another tapering in the U.S."

The day’s turnover stood at 601 million rupees ($4.50 million), much less than this year’s daily average of 1.06 billion rupees.

The market saw a net foreign outflow of 231.05 million rupees on Friday, extending net outflows for the past 32 sessions to 5.66 billion rupees.

However, foreign investors have been net buyers of 282.2 million rupees worth of shares so far this year.

Shares in John Keells rose 2.12 percent, pushing up the overall index.

President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved parliament on June 26 and scheduled elections for Aug. 17, in an effort to consolidate power and push through political reforms.
 

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