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ASX 200 Dragged Down By Facebook Inc

The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO) (^AXJO) and All Ordinaries (INDEXASX: XAO)(^AORD) indices ended lower on Wednesday as news about Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) dampened investors’ mood around the world.

All Ordinaries: down 0.7% at 5,899 points

ASX 200: down 0.7% at 5,789 points

ASX 200 Movers

  • AGL Energy Ltd (ASX: AGL) – up 2%
  • Graincorp Ltd (ASX: GNC) – up 2.9%
  • Iron Mountain Incorporated (ASX: INM) – up 2.2%

ASX 200 Losers

  • a2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) – down 7.5%
  • Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) – down 4.6%
  • Syrah Resources Ltd (ASX: SYR) – down 8.9%

Australian Investing News

Causing waves around the world was news that Facebook may have been monitoring calls and text messages of some of its users. According to Nine News, the technology company said that users would have had to “expressly agree” to the data usage.

This revelation follows news that as many as 50 million users could have had their information transferred to political consultant Cambridge Analytica. The US Federal Trade Commission has invited CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress.

In little over a week, the Facebook stock price has fallen from over $184 per share to $152, according to Yahoo! Finance. Shares in Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL), the owner of Google; Twitter Inc (NASDAQ: TWTR), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) have been sold down as more users become aware of potential privacy issues.

Closer to home, in the ASX 200, A2 Milk Company was a focal point after Nestle SA revealed it will launch its own version of dairy products which contain only the a2 protein. Shares of rival dairy products company Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL) finished 4% lower, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) (ASX: INM) ended 2% higher after the document management business announced it secured a $US700 million debt facility to repay outstanding credit facilities.

Amongst the major banks, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) shares fell 1.1% while Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares ended 0.4% lower.

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