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Sri Lankan shares slumped for a third consecutive session on Wednesday, dragged by deep losses in IT, financial and energy stocks as the country struggles to pay for fuel imports amid a surge in crude prices.

The CSE All-Share index was 3.41% lower at 10,163.72 points at the closing bell.

Sri Lanka's fuel import plans have been disrupted by a rapid spike in global crude prices after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, leaving the crisis-hit island nation struggling to pay for diesel amid power cuts as fuel pumps run dry.

Sri Lankan shares fall as higher crude prices drive inflation worries

Major fuel retailer Lanka IOC Plc ended 9.5% lower.

State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Chairman Sumith Wijesinghe said, "We are losing 50 rupees per liter of diesel and 22 rupees from every liter of petrol." The company has held talks with the government to raise fuel prices.

Commercial Leasing and Finance Plc and conglomerate LOLC Holdings were the top drags, closing 19.9% and 10.24% lower, respectively.

The country's finance ministry said on Wednesday that imports of 367 non-essential items, including fish, footwear and wine are being limited.

Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, picking up shares worth nearly 102 million rupees, exchange data showed.

Equity market turnover was 2.50 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($11.11 million).

Trading volume dropped to 138 million shares from 305.4 million shares in the previous session.

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