Sri Lankan shares end higher for third day as financials, industrials gain

June 17 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed higher for a third straight session on Thursday, fuelled by gains in financial and industrial stocks.

* The CSE All-Share Index closed up 0.23% at 7,659 and has gained 13.1% so far this year.

* The island nation’s merchandise imports in April rose 52.1% and exports surged 189.8% from a year ago, central bank data showed after markets closed on Thursday.

* The central bank said here earnings from the tourism sector remained subdued in April but workers' remittances continued to grow compared to the same period last year.

* Financials and industrial stocks accounted for more than half the gains in Thursday’s session.

* Lender LOLC Development Finance surged 25% for a second session and was the top boost. The stock has added nearly 80% so far in June, compared to a 3.5% rise in the main index.

* Conglomerate Expolanka Holdings added nearly 4% on Thursday and was the second biggest boost. The stock is up 13.5% this month.

* Trading volume on Wednesday rose to 165.9 million from 88.2 million in the previous session.

* Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, on-loading shares worth 684.9 million rupees, exchange data showed here.

* Equity market turnover was 3.96 billion rupees, according to exchange data.

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* For a report on major currencies, click (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)