May 11, 2020 / 8:43 AM / 20 days ago

Sri Lankan markets reopening after 52-day shutdown short-lived as shares tank

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan markets reopened on Monday after a 52-day shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, but were forced to close early as shares fell steeply, repeatedly hitting the lower circuit.

The island nation, which is heavily dependent on tourism, has reported 856 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths so far.

The benchmark index closed 3.92% lower at 4,392.43, while the S&P SL 20 index fell 10.11% after trading was halted at falls of 5%, 7.5% and 10% levels as mandated circuit levels.

The Sri Lankan rupee was last quoted at 187.75 against the U.S. dollar as of 0740 GMT, compared to its previous close of 186.

Writing by Swati Bhat in MUMBAI; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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