June 23 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares closed higher for a third straight session on Thursday, supported by gains in industrial and financial stocks.
* At the close of trade, the CSE All-Share index was up 0.58% at 7,556.09.
* Conglomerate Expolanka Holdings Plc and Browns Investment were the top gainers on the index, climbing 9% and 6.3%, respectively.
* Sri Lanka is currently facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades, unable to pay for essential imports such as fuel and medicine due to a severe shortage of foreign exchange.
* India’s top diplomat held talks with the island nation’s president and prime minister on Thursday as India signalled its willingness to go beyond the $4 billion in loans, swaps and aid that it has already provided its cash-strapped neighbour.
* Sri Lanka plans to call China, India and Japan to a donor conference, the country’s prime minister said on Wednesday, amid ongoing talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
* On the CSE All-Share index, trading volume rose to 43.7 million shares, from 37.5 million shares in the previous session.
* The equity market turnover was 1.10 billion rupees ($3.08 million), compared with 690.5 million rupees in the previous session, according to exchange data.
* Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading 171.4 million rupees worth of shares, while domestic investors were net buyers, purchasing 1.09 billion rupees worth of shares, according to exchange data.
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($1 = 357.0000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)