Asian stocks drift lower in early trading

Asian markets drifted lower today in early trading as Apple’s court victory in a high-stakes patent dispute sent shares of Samsung Electronics and its affiliates into a tailspin.

After more than three weeks of trial in the US and two days of deliberations, the nine-person jury said on Friday that Samsung copied Apple’s iPhone and iPad and ordered the South Korean firm to pay more than one billion US dollars 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 against the decision to a higher court.

The verdict battered shares of Samsung Electronics and its affiliated companies.

Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones, memory chips, display panels and televisions, plunged 7.1% in Seoul.

Samsung Electro-Mechanics, which supplies electronics components to its larger affiliate, tumbled 6.8%.

South Korea’s benchmark Kospi fell 0.3% to 1,914.82.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped marginally to 19,866.57. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan, New Zealand and mainland China also retreated.

Japan’s Nikkei 224 index rose 0.3% to 9,101.22 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3% to 4,3361.60.

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