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Sri Lankan shares ended higher on Friday for the first time in five sessions after the troubled island nation sought help from the International Monetary Fund to solve the country’s economic crisis.

The CSE All-Share index rose 1.28% to 10,353.83 points. The index still ended the week down 3%.

“I have decided to work with them (the IMF) after examining the advantages and disadvantages,” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on Wednesday, setting a target of cutting its trade deficit by about 14% this year.

Sri Lankan shares extend fall to third session on economic worries

The Indian Ocean nation’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen 70% in the past two years to about $2.31 billion, leaving it struggling to pay for essential imports, including food and fuel.

Sri Lankan markets were closed on Thursday for a holiday.

Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa signed a $1 billion credit line with India on Thursday to help ease crippling shortages of essential items, including fuel, food and medicine, officials said.

Commercial Leasing and Finance Plc and Lanka Orix Leasing Company Plc were top boosts, gaining 9.5% and 3.6%, respectively.

Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing shares worth nearly 87.7 million Sri Lankan rupees ($318,909.09), while domestic investors were net sellers, offloading 1.4 billion rupees worth of shares, exchange data showed.

Equity market turnover was 1.42 billion rupees.

Trading volume fell to 72.3 million shares from 117.3 million shares in the previous session.

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