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Sri Lankan shares closed lower on Friday, marking their first weekly fall in four, as losses in financial stocks weighed on the benchmark index.

The CSE All-Share index ended 0.36% lower at 9,964.80. For the week, the index declined 1.37%.

The island-nation is facing its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948, as it grapples with soaring inflation, economic contraction and a severe shortage of essential items, caused by a record slump in foreign reserves.

Sri Lankan authorities will formally hold talks with international creditors on Friday to start the process of restructuring billions of dollars of its debt and share plans to tackle the island’s worst economic crisis in more than seven decades.

Japan, one of Sri Lanka’s main creditors, will back the South Asian nation as it seeks to restructure about $30 billion of its foreign debt, Tokyo’s envoy to the country said on Friday.

Sri Lankan shares close higher as industrials rise

Trading volume on the CSE All-Share index rose to 150.2 million shares from 147 million in the previous session.

Conglomerate LOLC Holdings and lender LOLC Development Finance were the top drags on the index, falling 2.9% and 3.2%, respectively.

The equity market turnover was 3.02 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($8.37 million), compared with 4.11 billion rupees in the previous session, according to exchange data.

Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing 70.3 million rupees worth of shares, while domestic investors were net sellers, offloading 2.96 billion rupees worth of stocks, data showed.

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