Sri Lankan shares end lower as financial weigh

July 1 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended lower for a third straight session on Thursday, dragged down by losses in financial stocks amid warning from Fitch Ratings that the country’s large banks were most exposed to sovereign risk.

* Sri Lanka’s largest banks are the most susceptible to heightened sovereign risk due to their higher exposure to foreign-currency denominated government securities, Fitch said in a note.

* Domestic banks have significant direct exposure to the sovereign, largely via government-security holdings, as well as to the wider domestic economy and local financial markets, Fitch said.

* The CSE All-Share Index ended down 1.39% at 7,728.61, its worst one-day percentage fall since May 10.

* The index had recorded its third straight monthly gain, surging 5.9% in June.

* Lender LOLC Development Finance fell 28%, snapping 11 straight sessions of gains and was the top drag on the index.

* Sri Lanka reported 259,089 total confirmed coronavirus cases as of Thursday, and 3,077 deaths, according to the health ministry's data here.

* The island nation has fully vaccinated only 4.57% of its total population so far, Johns Hopkins data here showed on Thursday.

* Trading volume on the exchange fell to 73.6 million from 87.1 million in the previous session.

* Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading shares worth 63.2 million rupees, exchange data showed here.

* The equity market’s turnover was 1.4 billion rupees, according to exchange data.

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* For a report on major currencies, click (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)