June 22, 2020 / 12:39 PM / 22 days ago

Sri Lankan shares end higher as financial, consumer stocks rise

June 22 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed higher for a fifth straight session on Monday, driven by gains in financial and consumer staples stocks.

** The CSE All Share Index rose 1.12% to 5,046.50, its highest close since March 12.

** Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc and beverage maker Ceylon Cold Stores Plc were the biggest boosts to the index, rising 4.8%, 2.1% and 4.4%, respectively.

** Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Plc and palm oil cultivator Shalimar (Malay) Plc were the biggest drags on the index, falling 2.7% and 22.5%, respectively.

** Foreign investors were net sellers, offloading 248 million rupees ($1.33 mln) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

** Trading volume rose to 38.7 million from about 32 million in the previous session, while equity market turnover was 1.22 billion rupees, data showed.

** Sri Lanka statistics department on Monday said inflation grew 5.2% on a year-over-year basis in May compared to a 5.9% rise in April.

** Sri Lanka’s April trade deficit widened to $840 million from $797 million in April 2019, the central bank said after markets closed.

** Sri Lanka’s April external sector performance was severely affected by COVID-19 pandemic-related economic interruptions, the central bank added.

** For a report on global markets, click

** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 186.5000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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