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Facebook shares fall by 6 percent as lock-up period ends

  • Facebook shares have dropped heavily as the first lock-up period, which prevents sales by early investors, ended.

    Shares fell by 6.27 percent to $19.87 at close of trade in New York on Thursday, down from $20.74 on Wednesday.

    Around 271 million shares will be eligible to be sold on Thursday.

    Some 421 million shares have been trading since Facebook shares were floated in May at $38 each.

    Facebook's share price has steadily fallen since then due to worries over its strategy.

    Lock-ups stop company insiders from selling their shares in a newly-floated firm and usually expire 90 days from the initial public offering (IPO).

    Other tech companies that have floated recently also saw their share prices drop following the expiration of lock-up periods.

    Linkedin shares fell about 7 percent when its lock-up period expired before rebounding while Groupon lost 10 percent of their value on its expiration day.