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Sri Lankan shares end lower as financials, consumer stocks drag

March 17 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended lower on Wednesday for a third straight session, dragged down by losses in financials and consumer staples stocks.

* The CSE All Share Index closed 1.06% lower at 7,044.56.

* In economic news, Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.3% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020, the statistics department said late on Tuesday.

* However, GDP contracted 3.6% during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the island nation recording declines in all its three major economic sectors — agriculture, industry and services — for the first time in history.

* Among individual stock moves on Wednesday, LB Finance Plc and conglomerate Expolanka Holdings were the top two drags on the CSE All Share index, falling 76.3% and 3.3%, respectively.

* Trading volume fell to 38.9 million from 83.2 million in the previous session.

* Foreign investors were net sellers, offloading 192.6 million Sri Lankan rupees ($965,413.53) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

* Equity market turnover was 853.1 million rupees, exchange data showed.

* The Sri Lankan rupee was quoted at 199.5 against the dollar as of 1143 GMT, according to Refinitiv data.

* For a report on global markets, click

* For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 199.5000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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