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

COLOMBO, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares fell on Tuesday from their highest in nearly six months as investors took profits after a four-day rally on hopes of political stability after the Aug. 17 parliamentary elections, brokers said.

The index had gained 6 percent in nearly a month through Monday as investors picked up risky assets, also on expectations of strong corporate earnings.

The main stock index ended 0.36 percent or 26.54 points weaker at 7,310.05, slipping from its highest close since Feb. 13 hit on Monday.

Turnover stood at 1.55 billion rupees ($11.6 million), well above this year’s daily average of 1.09 billion rupees.

"The market came off with an expected profit-taking session," Danushka Samarasinghe, research head at Softlogic Stockbrokers, told Reuters.

"The slide might continue for one or two days before it stabilises and then rallies again."

Analysts said investors are expecting a strong government after the election, which has helped sentiment. The also expect local companies to post strong results for the April-June quarter.

Losses were led by large-caps, with Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc falling 1.97 percent and conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc losing 1.24 percent.

Foreign investors, who have bought a net 700.9 million rupees worth of shares so far this year, net sold 157.6 million rupees in equities on Tuesday. 
 

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