Last updated: February 16. 2013 7:49PM - 122 Views

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(AP) Asian markets lacked vigor Monday as the absence of action by central banks in the U.S. and China dismayed investors while Apple's court victory in a high-stakes patent dispute sent shares of Samsung Electronics into a tailspin.

After more than three weeks of trial in the U.S. and two days of deliberations, the nine-person jury said Friday that Samsung copied Apple's iPhone and iPad and ordered the South Korean firm to pay more than $1 billion in damages.

Samsung said it will ask the judge in the Northern District Court of California in San Jose to overturn the jury's verdict and will appeal the decision to a higher court.

The verdict battered shares of Samsung Electronics Co. and its affiliated companies. Samsung, the world's largest maker of smartphones, memory chips, display panels and televisions, plunged 7 percent in Seoul.

Samsung Electro-Mechanics, which supplies electronics components to its larger affiliate, tumbled 6 percent. But South Korea's benchmark Kospi rose 0.2 percent to 1,923.39 after a lower open.

Even though the Friday verdict does not affect Samsung's Galaxy S III smartphone, analysts said Samsung's current and future products could also face attack from Apple. The U.S. decision is part of a wider global patent dispute between the world's two largest smartphone makers involving more than 50 cases in nine countries.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.2 percent to 19,848.68. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan, and mainland China also retreated as investors grew weary of waiting for central banks in China and the U.S. to take action to prop up business activity in the world's No. 1 and No. 2 economies.

"I think investors are growing impatient with no action from the central banks," said Jackson Wong, vice president at Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong. "We have been trading at a relatively high level for more than two weeks. The main reason behind the rally was investors expecting bankers to roll out policies."

The big events that could move the market lie ahead U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech in Wyoming later this month and a German court's ruling next month on whether the country can participate in a bailout for European countries.

Japan's Nikkei 224 index rose 0.5 percent to 9,112.08 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to 4,357.80.

Benchmark crude for October delivery rose $1.32 to $97.47 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 12 cents to finish at $96.15 per barrel on the Nymex on Friday.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.2509 from $1.2519 late Friday in New York. The dollar rose to 78.73 yen from 78.70 yen.


AP Business Writer Pamela Sampson contributed from Bangkok.

Associated Press
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