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S.Lanka shares unmoved after after poors of select blue-chips

 COLOMBO, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares dipped
slightly in thin trade on Monday with the handful of active
investors shedding blue chip stocks after their poor
performance this quarter.
 The Colombo All-Share index .CSE edged down 0.46 points
or 0.02 percent to 2,408.18, its second straight fall.
 "The market is taking a breath after lower-than-expected
corporate earnings from the main companies," Geeth Balasuriya,
assistant research manager at HNB Stockbrokers, said.
 The market in the past few days has been driven by
speculative trading, he said.
 "We didn't see that today, mainly because investors are
waiting for directions on the economic front, expecting
interest rates to fall."
 The top conglomerate by market capitalisation, John Keells
Holdings JKH.CM, closed 0.5 percent weaker at 99.50 rupees a
share calculated on a weighted average. On Friday, it posted a
mere 1.4 percent net profit growth in its June quarter.
 Private lender Hatton National Bank HNB.CM fell 1.44
percent to 103 rupees in thin trade, while local alcoholic
beverage manufacturer Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka
DIST.CM closed 0.31 percent down at 80 rupees.
 Sri Lanka's No.1 mobile phone operator, Dialog Telekom
DIAL.CM, which repored a 78 percent fall in its June quarter
profit, hit a new life low of 11 rupees a share before closing
flat at 11.25 rupees a share.
 Shares in Colombo Dockyard DOCK.CM closed 5.71 percent
firmer at 74 rupees a share, after the company posted a more
than doubled net profit of 392.5 million rupees in its June
quarter compared to an year ago.
 Market turnover was 103.2 million Sri Lankan rupees
($95,760), around a quarter of last year's daily average of 400
million rupees.
 Sri Lanka's annual average inflation rose to a six-year
high of 22.6 percent in August from 21.9 percent in July, while
the consumer price inflation eased to a year-on-year 24.9
percent this month from a 26.6 percent in July. See
[ID:nCOL279297].
 Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal last week said
inflation may fall to single digit levels by the end of 2009,
and down to 20 percent by December.
 Cabraal warned that the bank's tight monetary policy would
mean growth in 2008 would be slightly less than the forecast 7
percent. See [ID:nCOL177924].
 The rupee LKR= closed firmer at 107.78/80 per dollar from
Friday's close of 107.88/90 on high call money rates and
intervension from a state bank.
 "High call money rate prompted some banks to sell dollars
to cover their positions in rupees, while a state bank bought
dollars at 107.80 levels," a currency dealer said.
 The central bank on Monday said it will issue $70 million
in two-year dollar development bonds to repay investors holding
two-year bonds that are due to mature on Sept. 22. See
[nCOL227463].
 The interbank lending rate or call money rate CLIBOR
edged up to 16.579 percent, from Friday's 16.405 percent.
 (Editing by Bryson Hull)


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