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Sri Lankan shares close at record high as financials gain

·2 min read

Oct 21 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed at a record high on Thursday, driven by solid gains in financial stocks as equity markets reopened after a two-day holiday.

* The CSE All-Share index closed 1.78% higher at 9,881.50 points.

* Commercial Leasing and Finance Plc and Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc were the top boosts to the index, gaining 19% and 6.3%, respectively.

* Sri Lanka's national consumer price inflation rose 6.2% year-on-year in September compared with a 6.7% rise a month ago, according to data from the country's statistics department

* On Tuesday, the central bank of Sri Lanka said https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/sites/default/files/cbslweb_documents/press/pr/press_20211019_external_sector_performance_August_2021_e.pdf the country's trade deficit widened to $586 million in August mainly due to a sharp increase in fuel imports

* The country's import expenditure per barrel of crude oil amounted to $74.88 in August 2021, compared with $47.74 in August 2020

* Sri Lanka's earnings from overall exports in August, however, grew 16.2% from the previous year to $1.10 billion

* The equity market's turnover was 4.27 billion rupees ($21.35 million), according to stock exchange data https://www.cse.lk/pages/daily-market-summary/daily-market-summary.component.html.

* Trading volume on the exchange dipped to 154.5 million shares from 159.9 million shares in the previous session.

* Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing shares worth 84.4 million rupees, as per exchange data.

* The island-nation reported 539 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 533,305, while the death toll was at 13,543, according to data from the health bureau https://hpb.health.gov.lk/covid19-dashboard.

* About 58.56% of the country's population has been fully vaccinated so far, as per Johns Hopkins University https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/region/sri-lanka.

* For a report on global markets, click ($1 = 200.0000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Vinay Dwivedi)