Sri Lankan shares rise as industrials gain; Sept. trade deficit narrows

Nov 9 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares rose on Monday to settle at their highest level since Dec. 31, 2019, driven by a surge in industrial stocks, while the country’s trade deficit narrowed in September.

** The benchmark stock index ended up 0.57% at 6,114.50, marking its fifth straight session of gains.

** Sri Lanka’s imports in September fell 10.9% year-on-year to $1.53 billion and exports for the month were up 4.8% to $1 billion, data from the central bank showed. Trade deficit was $525 million.

** Conglomerate Expolanka Holdings jumped 14.6%, making it the top boost, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka shed 2.7% to be the top drag on the index.

** Cold chain facility operator Tess Agro jumped 40% to end the day as the top percentage gainer.

** Trading volume on the CSE All Share Index rose to 225.2 million from 215.7 million in the previous session.

** Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading 271.9 million rupees ($1.47 million) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

** Equity market turnover was 5.52 billion rupees, exchange data showed.

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** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 184.4500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)