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Sri Lankan bourse slips to 3-week low; rupee up

COLOMBO, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks edged down on Monday to their lowest in nearly three weeks in thin volume as investors booked profits in banking and beverage shares ahead of their September quarter results. The rupee gained as banks sold dollars.

The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index ended 0.55 percent, or 32.52 points, weaker at 5,847.17, its lowest level since Sept. 19.

Turnover was 434.9 million rupees ($4.27 million), well below half of this year's daily average of 960 million rupees.

The bourse saw a net foreign outflow of 138.3 million rupees. However, foreigners have been net buyers to the tune of 32.39 billion rupees this year.

The rupee closed slightly firmer at 128.25/35 to the dollar compared with Friday's close of 128.40/50 as banks sold the U.S. unit, dealers said. ($1 = 128.4000 Sri Lanka rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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

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

Keywords: MARKETS SRILANKA/