Sri Lankan shares end flat as materials, consumer staples drag

BENGALURU, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares shed early gains to end little changed on Friday, dragged by losses in materials and consumer staples stocks, while government bonds fell after the United States asked the country to review its China ties.

** The benchmark stock index closed 0.05% lower at 5,768.94. The bourse fell 3% in the past week and is down 5.9% for the year so far.

** Ceylinco Insurance Plc and Nawaloka Hospitals Plc were the biggest boosts to the index, rising 2.8% and 11.5%, respectively.

** Nestle Lanka and Asian Hotels and Properties PLC were the biggest drags on the index, falling 1.4% and 3%, respectively.

** Trading volume on the CSE All Share Index, when compared to the last full trading day, fell 28.62% at 105.00 million from the previous session.

** Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, off-loading 354.57 million rupees ($1.92 million) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

** Sri Lanka’s government bonds tumbled on Friday after the United States urged the country’s government to make “difficult but necessary choices” regarding its economic ties with China, ahead of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to the island nation next week.

** The Sri Lankan rupee was last quoted at 184.3 against the U.S. dollar as of 1208 GMT, 0.03% higher compared to last session’s close of 184.35, according to Refinitiv data. The currency is down 1.65% so far this year.

** Equity market turnover was 1.74 billion Sri Lankan rupees, exchange data showed.

** For a report on global markets, click <MKTS/GLOB]

** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 184.3000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)