Sri Lankan shares end higher on cenbank's rate cut boost

July 9 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended higher on Thursday, driven by gains in financial and industrial stocks, after the central bank cut two key interest rates sharply to support the economy hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

** The Central Bank of Sri Lanka eased monetary policy for the fourth time since March, cutting its Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) by 100 basis points (bps) each to 4.50% and 5.50%, respectively.

** The benchmark CSE All Share Index closed up 0.41% at 5,090.41.

** Conglomerates LOLC Holdings Plc and John Keells Holdings Plc rose 4.83% and 1.06%, respectively, and were the top boosts to the index.

** Foreign investors were net sellers, offloading 287.8 million Sri Lankan rupees ($1.55 million) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

** Trading volume fell to 34.5 million from 72.6 million in the previous session, while equity market turnover was about 967.5 million rupees.

** The Sri Lankan rupee was last quoted at 185.75 against the dollar as of 1228 GMT, compared to last session’s close of 185.75

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** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 185.7500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)