Sri Lankan shares see worst day in over 16 years after fresh virus outbreak

Oct 5 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares had their worst day in 16-1/2 years, as a new outbreak of coronavirus infections in the island nation weighed on markets and triggered a trading halt for thirty minutes.

** The benchmark CSE All Share Index ended down 7.65% at 5,587.18, its worst intraday percentage loss since April 6, 2004.

** Trading on the Colombo Stock Exchange was halted earlier on Monday for thirty minutes after the S&P Sri Lanka 20 Index fell over 7.5% from its previous close.

** A new outbreak of coronavirus infections at a garment factory in Gampaha district on Sunday dented sentiment, with 68 detected cases so far, taking the total number in Sri Lanka to 3,471.

** Police imposed curfew in many areas and nearly 400 people have been put under quarantine.

** Investment firm Carson Cumberbatch Plc and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Plc were the top drags on the index, while food and soap products maker Harischandra Mills Plc was the top boost.

** Trading volume on the CSE All Share Index on Monday was 268.77 million, compared with the last full trading day volume of 215.06 million.

** Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading 201.96 million rupees ($1.09 million) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

** Equity market turnover was 3.82 billion rupees on Monday, data showed.

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** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 184.6500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)