Sri Lankan shares end higher as financials, consumer staples rise

Oct 29 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares posted their biggest gain in three weeks on Thursday, closing over 2% higher on the back of gains in financial and consumer staple stocks.

** The benchmark stock index ended up 2.26% at 5,726.59, their biggest intraday percentage gain since Oct. 8

** The index fell 0.7% for the week. The country’s stock market is closed on Friday for a holiday.

** Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc and investment firm Vallibel One Plc were the top boosts to the index, rising 1.6% and 11.6%, respectively.

** Finance company LOLC Development Finance Plc and insurance underwriter Ceylinco Insurance Plc were the top drags on the index, falling 9.6% and 2%, respectively.

** Trading volume on the CSE All Share Index, when compared to the last full trading day, was 0.7% higher at 65.11 million.

** U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to the island nation on Wednesday said the Chinese Communist Party had brought lawlessness to Sri Lanka. The country’s foreign minister said Sri Lanka wanted peace and good relations with all.

** Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading 497.3 million rupees ($2.70 million) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

** Equity market turnover was 1.64 billion rupees, exchange data showed.

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** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 184.2500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)