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Sri Lankan shares slip from near 7-month high on profit-taking

COLOMBO, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended weaker on Thursday, down from a nearly seven-month closing high in the previous session, as investors booked profits even as some foreign investors sold shares ahead of the key Aug. 17 parliamentary election, brokers said.

The index has risen nearly 8 percent since July 8 through Wednesday on hopes of improved corporate earnings and political stability, brokers said.

The main stock index ended 0.39 percent or 29.15 points weaker at 7,442.75, slipping from its highest close since Jan. 16 hit on Wednesday.

Foreign investors sold a net 23.8 million rupees ($177,745) worth equities on Thursday. They have offloaded a net 1.19 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year.

"The benchmark index continued on a downward path during the day.. On the back of low investor interest both volume and turnover slumped while foreign participation continued to remain low," First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd said in a note to investors.

Shares in Dialog Axiata Plc fell 1.68 percent while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 0.57 percent, dragging the index lower.

Turnover stood at 978.7 million rupees on Thursday, below this year’s daily average of 1.13 billion rupees.

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