SEOUL--South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. (005930.SE) Monday said speculation that it is planning to launch a bid for Nokia Corp. (NOK) are without merit. "The rumor regarding the acquisition of Nokia is groundless," the Samsung spokesperson said. Nokia shares traded sharply higher Friday, amid speculation that Samsung was planning to launch a bid for the struggling Finnish handset maker. At 0856 GMT shares in Nokia traded 0.9% lower at EUR2.342 ($2.95), against a 2% rise for the broader Helsinki stock market. Write to Jung-Ah Lee and Sven Grundberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.