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Sri Lankan shares were unchanged at close on Friday, with gains in consumer staples offset by losses in industrial stocks, as the country battles a debilitating economic crisis.

The CSE All-Share index closed 0.05% lower at 8,315.55. For the week, the index closed 0.6% higher.

On Friday, S&P downgraded two Sri Lanka government bonds after it missed interest rate payments.

Late on Thursday, the International Monetary Fund said it was in talks with Sri Lanka’s authorities on a package that would restore economic stability and debt sustainability.

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka earlier this week announced Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will hold dual charge as finance minister and will lead talks with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.

Sri Lankan shares end lower as industrials weigh

Sri Lanka, an island nation of 22 million people, is reeling under its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, with a severe shortage of foreign exchange curtailing imports, including essentials such as fuel and medicines.

The equity market turnover was 1.57 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($4.37 million) on Friday.

Trading volume rose to 103.2 million shares from 72.2 million shares in the previous session.

Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading shares worth 63.9 million rupees, while domestic investors were net buyers with 1.54 billion rupees worth of shares bought, according to exchange data.

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