May 14 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks ended higher again on Thursday, boosted by gains in consumer staples stocks, after the central bank listed stimulus measures to soften the economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.
** The benchmark stock index closed up 0.6% at 4393.54
** After markets closed on Wednesday, Sri Lanka’s central bank said it implemented extraordinary regulatory measures to provide liquidity to banks amid the COVID-19 outbreak, including additional funding under refinance facility or other credit operations.
** The island nation, which is heavily dependent on tourism, has reported 915 confirmed coronavirus cases and nine deaths as of Wednesday.
** Shares of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Plc rose 9.8% and was the biggest boost on the index, while Ceylon Cold Stores Plc, which makes soft drinks and ice creams, added 7.9%.
** Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc shed 4.9%, making it the biggest drag.
** Trading volume on the CSE All Share Index nearly doubled to 85.1 million from the previous session.
** Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading 3.30 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($17.60 million) worth of shares, according to exchange data.
** The Sri Lankan rupee was last quoted at 187.5 against the U.S. dollar as of 10:21 GMT, 0.27% higher than last session’s close, according to Refinitiv data. The currency is down 3.42% so far this year.
** Equity market turnover was 3.68 billion Sri Lankan rupees, data showed.
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** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 187.5000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Philip George; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)