Sri Lanka shares plunge 5% as economic crisis worsens, Russia invades Ukraine

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Feb 24 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended 5% lower on Thursday as the country struggles with its worst economic crisis in years, while global stock markets slumped after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

* IT and energy stocks logged sharp losses on the CSE All-Share index (.CSE) that ended down 5% at 10,657.05 points.

* The benchmark index witnessed its worst day in over a year and closed at its lowest level in more than three months.

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* Sri Lanka's central bank on Thursday said the country had not sought any "restructuring" assistance for its debt, amid a worsening economic crisis which has seen essential imports stalled due to a lack of foreign exchange. read more

* The cenbank governor said that discussions with bankers and financiers have only been on offers for new financing.

* Conglomerates Lanka Orix Leasing Company Plc (LOLC.CM) and Expolanka Holdings Plc (EXPO.CM) were the top drags to the index, ending 10.7% and 9.5% lower respectively.

* Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing shares worth 117.1 million Sri Lankan rupees ($579,702.97), while domestic investors offloaded shares worth 3.66 billion rupees and were net sellers, exchange data showed.

* The equity market turnover was 3.71 billion rupees.

* The trading volume dipped to about 164 million shares from 188.5 million shares in the previous session.

* The Sri Lankan rupee weakened to 202 against the dollar, hitting their lowest level in over 10 months

* Earlier this week, a cabinet spokesman had said that a war in Ukraine would really hurt Sri Lanka as the country faces an acute fuel shortage.

* Oil prices broke above $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014 on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine.

($1 = 202.0000 Sri Lankan rupees)

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Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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