Sri Lankan shares ended lower on Thursday, dragged by losses in industrials and communication services stocks.

* The CSE All Share index settled 0.49% down at 8,780.21.

* Sri Lanka's rupee dropped below 300 against the U.S. dollar for the first time in over a year as the crisis-hit country's central bank limited its dollar purchases, analysts said.

* The Central Bank of Sri Lanka set the rupee's buying rate at 299.21 and selling rate at 312.37 with the indicative rate at 301.36, its website showed, the lowest since last April.

* Expolanka Holdings Plc and Sri Lanka Telecom Plc were the top losers on the CSE All Share index, down 2.87% and 3.49%, respectively.

* Trading volume on the index rose to 43.4 million shares from 36.2 million in the previous session.

* The equity market's turnover fell to 624.9 million Sri Lankan rupees ($1.97 million) from 699 million rupees in the previous session, according to exchange data.

* Foreign investors were net sellers, offloading stocks worth 130.7 million rupees, while domestic investors were net buyers, purchasing shares worth 582.9 million rupees, the data showed.

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($1 = 318.0000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ashish Chandra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)