Sri Lanka shares slip from near 5-month high on profit-taking

Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:47am GMT

COLOMBO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks slipped from a
near five-month high on Friday due to profit-taking, snapping a
six session winning streak, with diversified and banking shares
leading the fall, while foreign investors sold risky assets in
an overbought market.
    The main stock index fell 0.58 percent, or 35.93
points, to end at 6,131.05, slipping from its highest close
since Aug. 19 hit on Thursday. 
    Shares of market heavyweight and top conglomerate John
Keells Holdings PLC fell 0.92 percent to 238 rupees,
while Capital Holdings PLC ended lower 5.56 percent. 
    "Profit-taking brought the market down," said a stockbroker
asking not to be named. 
    The market has gained 3.73 percent in six straight sessions
through Thursday and the index has been in an overbought region
since Jan. 7, Thomson Reuters data showed. 
    Analysts attributed the gain to the central bank's interest
rate cut on Jan. 2 and the recent fall in T-bill yields.
  
    The index has risen 3.69 percent so far this year after a
4.8 percent gain in 2013. It fell in both 2012 and 2011.
    The day's turnover was 1.65 billion rupees ($12.6 million),
easily surpassing last year's daily average of about 828.4
million rupees.
    Foreign investors were net sellers of 80.2 million rupees
worth of shares on Friday, but have been net buyers of 638.9
million rupees in shares so far this year. Foreigners net bought
22.88 billion rupees of stocks last year.
($1 = 130.6750 Sri Lanka rupees)

 (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by
Prateek Chatterjee)
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