Financials, consumer staples push Sri Lankan shares to close lower

Aug 10 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended lower on Tuesday, weighed down by losses in financial and consumer staple stocks, while rising domestic COVID-19 cases also weighed on investors’ risk appetite.

* The CSE All-Share index ended 0.38% lower at 8,070.88.

* Conglomerate LOLC Holdings and finance and leasing company LOLC Development Finance Plc were the top drags in the index, falling 1.9% and 2.3%, respectively.

* Sentiment took a further beating after the island-nation reported here 2,953 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing its total confirmed cases to 332,947, while deaths rose by 111 to 5,222.

* Data here from Johns Hopkins university showed the country had fully vaccinated about 12.74% of its population so far.

* Trading volume on the exchange fell slightly to 186.6 million shares from 187.7 million shares in the previous session.

* Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing shares worth 84.8 million rupees ($426,130.65), exchange data showed here.

* The Sri Lankan rupee was last quoted at 199 against the U.S. dollar, as of 1145 GMT, steady from previous session’s close, according to Refinitiv data.

* The equity market’s turnover was 4.73 billion rupees, according to the exchange data.

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