Sri Lankan shares extend gains led by financials

Sri Lankan shares closed higher on Wednesday

  

Sri Lankan shares closed higher on Wednesday, with financial stocks supporting gains for a second straight session.

* The CSE All-Share Index closed up 0.47% at 7,641.19 on Wednesday. However, the index is still off 15.3% from its lifetime high seen in January.

* The island nation's services sector purchasing managers' index was at 39.45 index points in May, down by 9.4 index points from April, central bank data showed on Tuesday.

* Still, on Wednesday stocks extended gains to a second session with financials accounting for nearly half the gains.

* Lender LOLC Development Finance surged 25% and was the top boost. The stock has added 43.8% so far in June, compared to a 3.2% rise the main index has seen.

* Sri Lanka reported 228,256 total confirmed coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, and 2,315 deaths, according to health ministry data.

* The island nation lifted travel restrictions earlier this week, but has fully vaccinated only 2.8% of the country's population so far, Johns Hopkins data showed.

* Rating agency Fitch on Tuesday affirmed the country at "CCC", which indicates a real possibility of a debt default.

* Fitch also said Sri Lanka's medium-term debt service challenges are substantial and pose risks to sovereign's debt repayment capacity.

* Trading volume on Wednesday rose to 88.2 million from 68 million in the previous session.

* Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading shares worth 503.4 million rupees, exchange data showed.

* Equity market turnover was 2.71 billion rupees, according to exchange data.

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru) ((Chandini.M@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822697;))


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