Sri Lankan shares hit near 3-week low as industrial stocks slump

Sri Lanka's trade deficit for the month of July widened


Sri Lankan shares hit a near 3-week low on Monday, ending down about 4%, as industrial stocks dropped.

* The CSE All-Share index was down 3.70% at 8,536.88 points at the closing bell, logging its worst day since February.

* The benchmark index fell as conglomerates Expolanka Holdings Plc and LOLC Holdings dropped 15.1% and 7.2%, respectively.

* On Friday evening, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor had said he would be stepping down, at a time when the South Asian nation's weak foreign exchange reserves have limited its ability to import goods and raised the risk of a default. 

* Sri Lanka's trade deficit for the month of July widened to $607 million as compared to a deficit of $209 million recorded a year ago, cenbank data showed.

* The Colombo Stock Exchange had halted trade during the day for about 15 minutes due to connection stability issues.

* The equity market's turnover was 6.76 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($33.97 million), according to stock exchange data.

* Trading volume on the exchange fell to 228.2 million shares from 248.6 million shares in the previous session.

* Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading shares worth 735.8 million rupees, exchange data showed.

* The island-nation reported 2,642 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 485,922.

* It reported 144 fatalities due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 11,296, health bureau data showed.

* About 48.36% of the country's population is fully vaccinated so far, data from Johns Hopkins University showed

($1 = 199.0000 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi) ((; +91 89 6969 2349))

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