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Sri Lankan shares ended higher on Friday in low volume trading, led by gains in financials and consumer staples, with the country progressing towards receiving financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund.

The CSE All-Share index ended up 1.57% at 7,457.48. For the week, it fell 2.53%. The index declined for a second straight quarter, ending June-quarter down 17.54%.

The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday its talks with crisis-hit Sri Lanka had been “constructive”, raising hopes it would soon grant preliminary approval for a desperately needed financial support package.

The island-nation is currently facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades, unable to pay for essential imports such as fuel and medicine due to a severe shortage of foreign exchange.

Meanwhile, the Colombo consumer price index rose 54.6% year-on-year in June against a 39.1% rise in May, according to the statistics department.

Sri Lankan shares fall as fuel shortage worsens

On the CSE All-Share index, trading volume fell to 35.5 million shares from 115.9 million shares.

The equity market turnover was 1.43 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($4.02 million), according to exchange data.

Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading 15 million rupees worth of shares, while domestic investors were net buyers, purchasing 1.42 billion rupees worth of shares, the data showed.

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