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Sri Lankan shares end steady near 6-month high

COLOMBO, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended steady at their highest in nearly six months on Monday, 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 edged up 0.06 percent to 7,336.59, its highest close since Feb. 13.

Turnover stood at 982.2 million rupees ($7.36 million), less than this year’s daily average of 1.09 billion rupees.

"The market believes there will be a strong government after the election and investors are buying on that hope," Danushka Samarasinghe, research head at Softlogic Stockbrokers, told Reuters.

Gains were led by large-caps with Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc rising 2.72 percent after it reported a 16.6 percent rise in net profit for April-June, while Ceylon Cold Stores Plc ended up 4.61 percent.

Foreign investors, who have bought a net 858.6 million rupees worth of shares so far this year, were net sellers of 97.3 million rupees on Monday.

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. (Colombo/August 3 2015)

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