Sri Lankan shares inch down; country makes progress towards IMF credit

June 30 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended slightly lower on Thursday, pressured by industrial stocks, while the country made progress towards getting a credit facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ease its financial crisis.

* The CSE All-Share index .CSE closed down 0.32% at 7,342.33.

** The IMF reported constructive talks with Sri Lankan authorities on Thursday, raising hopes it could soon grant preliminary approval for a credit facility that could help the country as it struggles to pay for imports.

* 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 LKCCPI=ECI rose 54.6% year-on-year in June against a 39.1% rise in May, according to the statistics department.

* On the CSE All-Share index, trading volume rose to 115.9 million shares from 34.7 million shares.

* The equity market turnover was 785.4 million Sri Lankan rupees ($2.21 million), according to exchange data.

* Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing 12 million rupees worth of shares, while domestic investors were net sellers, offloading 776.5 million rupees worth of shares, according to exchange data.

* For a report on global markets, click ($1 = 355.5000 Sri Lankan rupees)
Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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