Wires

Sri Lanka stocks end down on profit taking

COLOMBO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks closed down attheir lowest level in nearly four weeks on Tuesday after lateprofit taking erased an early gain following a decision by theSecurities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to ease rules on trade.

After the market closed on Monday, the SEC said it had easedbroker credit margins and lifted a ban on directors and workersat broking firms, and their spouses, selling stocks within sixmonths of their purchase. It imposed the ban early this year.

The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index opened firmerand gained 0.94 percent early but profit taking in the afternoonpulled it down to end 0.24 percent, or 13.85 points, weaker at5,833.32, its lowest level since Sept. 13.

Turnover was 527.8 million rupees ($4.11 million), wellbelow half of this year's daily average of 954 million rupees.

The bourse saw a net foreign outflow of 12.3 million rupees.However, foreigners have been net buyers to the tune of 32.38billion rupees this year.

The rupee closed flat at 128.25/35 to the dollar, asimporter demand for dollars was offset by dollar sales by aforeign bank, dealers said.($1 = 128.3500 Sri Lanka rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by RobertBirsel)

((ranga.sirilal@thomsonreuters.com)(+94-11-232-5540)(Reuters

Messaging: ranga.sirilal.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS SRILANKA/

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