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Sri Lankan shares extended gains to a second session on Thursday, closing more than 1% higher as financial and industrial stocks advanced.

At the close of trade, the CSE All-Share index was up 1.64% at 13,338.49 points.

Conglomerate LOLC Holdings and logistics firm Expolanka Holdings were among the top boosts to the index, climbing 5.6% and 1.7% respectively.

Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading shares worth 340.9 million rupees ($1.68 million), while domestic investors were net buyers of shares worth 6.92 billion rupees, exchange data showed.

The equity market’s turnover was 7.07 billion rupees.

Trading volume fell to 252.6 million shares from 317.3 million shares in the previous session.

Sri Lankan shares end higher on gains in telecoms

The South Asian country is facing its worst financial crisis in decades with foreign exchange reserves shrinking.

Sri Lanka has to also repay about $4.5 billion in debt this year, with a $500 million International Sovereign Bond maturing next week.

The governor of Sri Lanka’s central bank confirmed in a tweet after market close that the Indian central bank would offer a $400 million forex swap line.

Meanwhile, data from the country’s health bureau showed Sri Lanka had a total of 593,725 coronavirus cases and 15,163 deaths, as of Wednesday.

About 63.58% of Sri Lanka’s population has been fully vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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