Sri Lankan shares gain after central bank hikes interest rates

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March 4 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares on Friday snapped a two-day losing streak to end higher, after the country's central bank sharply raised interest rates to curb growing inflationary pressures.

* The CSE All-Share index (.CSE) ended up 0.72% at 11,243.49. The index had lost more than 2% on Thursday and more than 1% on Wednesday. For the week, the index added 1.22%.

* Conglomerates LOLC Holdings (LOLC.CM) and Expolanka Holdings (EXPO.CM) were the top boosts, closing 5.2% and 3.4% higher, respectively.

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* Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, picking up shares worth 111.5 million rupees ($557,500), while domestic investors were net sellers, offloading shares worth 2.98 billion rupees, exchange data showed.

* Equity market turnover was 3.02 billion rupees.

* Trading volume rose to 77.6 million shares from 73 million shares in the previous session.

* Sri Lanka's central bank hiked both the key deposit and lending rate by 100 bps each to combat rampant inflation, and urged the government to consider measures including curbing non-essential imports and raising fuel prices to reduce pressure on the ailing economy. read more

* The island-nation is facing one of its worst financial crises in years. Its reserves have plunged 70% since 2020, standing at $2.36 billion at the end of January. The country has debt repayments of about $4 billion in the remainder of this year.

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($1 = 200.00 Sri Lankan rupees)

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Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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