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Sri Lanka shares on Friday closed lower for the third straight session, pulled down by industrial and financial companies, amid growing protests for the president and the government to step down after the country’s worst financial crisis in decades.

The CSE All-Share index closed down 1.85% lower at 7,427.48. The index logged its fourth straight weekly loss, falling 2.6%. It has fallen over 39% this year so far.

Thousands of shops, schools and businesses closed on Friday as public and private sector workers in Sri Lanka went on strike, demanding the president step down.

The World Bank has promised financial aid to help the island nation overcome its economic crisis. Sri Lanka has also appealed to multiple countries and multilateral organisations for bridge financing until it gets aid from the International Monetary Fund.

Heavyweights Expolanka Holdings and LOLC Holdings were the top drags, falling 6.9% and 8.3%, respectively.

The equity market turnover was 973.9 million Sri Lankan rupees ($2.74 million).

Trading volume fell to 40.8 million shares from 74 million shares in the previous session.

Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing shares worth 185.1 million rupees, while domestic investors were net sellers, offloading 923.8 million rupees worth of shares, exchange data showed.

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