March 10, 2020 / 12:53 PM / 23 days ago

Sri Lanka shares close at 7-1/2-year low as consumer, financials weigh

March 10 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan markets on Tuesday ended at their worst levels since August 2012, weighed down by losses in consumer staples, financials and industrial stocks.

The markets were closed on Monday, when oil suffered its sharpest drop since the 1991 Gulf war and global stocks plunged after Saudi Arabia launched a crude price war with Russia, further rattling investors already anxious about the spread of the coronavirus.

** The benchmark stock index closed 4.14% lower at 5,121.91. The index lost 4.5% last week and was down 16.4% so far this year.

** Beverage manufacturer Ceylon Cold Stores Plc and conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc were the biggest drags in the CSE index, falling 13.6% and 5.1%, respectively.

** Foreign investors were net sellers, offloading 867.1 mln rupees ($4.75 mln) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

** Equity market turnover was 1.35 bln rupees, data showed.

** For a report on global markets, click

** For a report on major currencies, click

$1 = 182.4000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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