March 12, 2020 / 1:26 PM / 19 days ago

Sri Lanka shares close lower as financials, consumer staples weigh

March 12 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan markets settled firmly in the red on Thursday, pulled down by financial, consumer staples and industrial companies.

Global stocks plunged into a bear market and oil slumped on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump banned travel from Europe to stem the spread of coronavirus, threatening more disruption to the world economy.

** The benchmark stock index closed 3.55% lower at 5,019.55. The index is down 18.1% so far this year.

** Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc was the biggest drag to the CSE index, falling 3.7%.

** Foreign investors were net sellers, offloading 29.8 mln Sri Lankan rupees ($162,930.56) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

** The Sri Lankan rupee was last quoted at 182.9 against the U.S. dollar as of 12:30 GMT, 0.22% lower for the day compared to last session’s close of 182.5, according to Refinitiv data.

** Equity market turnover was 514.4 mln rupees, data showed.

** For a report on global markets, click

** For a report on major currencies, click

$1 = 182.9000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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