Sri Lankan shares closed higher for a third straight session on Thursday, fuelled by gains in financial and industrial stocks.
* The CSE All-Share Index closed up 0.23% at 7,659 and has gained 13.1% so far this year.
* The island nation's merchandise imports in April rose 52.1% and exports surged 189.8% from a year ago, central bank data showed after markets closed on Thursday.
* The central bank said earnings from the tourism sector remained subdued in April but workers' remittances continued to grow compared to the same period last year.
* Financials and industrial stocks accounted for more than half the gains in Thursday's session.
* Lender LOLC Development Finance surged 25% for a second session and was the top boost. The stock has added nearly 80% so far in June, compared to a 3.5% rise in the main index.
* Conglomerate Expolanka Holdings added nearly 4% on Thursday and was the second biggest boost. The stock is up 13.5% this month.
* Trading volume on Wednesday rose to 165.9 million from 88.2 million in the previous session.
* Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, on-loading shares worth 684.9 million rupees, exchange data showed.
* Equity market turnover was 3.96 billion rupees, according to exchange data.
(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.) ((Chandini.M@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822697;))