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Sri Lankan shares end slightly higher as consumer stocks rise

May 18 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended marginally higher on Tuesday, driven by a rise in consumer staples stocks.

* The CSE All-Share Index closed up 0.07% at 7,355.14, marking a positive finish for a fifth straight session.

* The country on Monday announced travel restrictions, starting May 21, in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

* Although case numbers have eased slightly from a record increase of 2,672 cases on May 9, the South Asian island nation has been reporting 2,200 infections or more every day in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

* Ceylon Tobacco and conglomerate John Keells Holdings were the top two boosts to the CSE All-Share Index, gaining nearly 1% each.

* Trading volumes slipped to 139.8 million from 147.8 million in the previous session.

* Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing shares worth 698.7 million Sri Lankan rupees ($3.6 million), according to exchange data.

* Equity market turnover was 2.67 billion rupees, the data showed.

* Separately on Tuesday, central bank data showed here Sri Lanka's trade deficit widened to $832 million in March, compared with a deficit of $549 million a year earlier

* For a report on global markets, click

* For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 196.0000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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