* US stocks suffer geopolitical jitters, Asia follows
* Dollar underpinned by upbeat US economic data
* Oil prices under pressure amid ample supply
* Fox drops bid for Time Warner, Sprint gives up on T-Mobile
By Wayne Cole
SYDNEY, Aug 6 Asian stocks fell broadly on
Wednesday while the U.S. dollar held firm after a slump on Wall
Street and tensions over Ukraine instilled a mood of risk
aversion across markets.
Geopolitical concerns overshadowed upbeat U.S. economic data
which included a spike in service-sector activity to a nine-year
peak and a surprisingly large increase in factory orders.
Yet there was potentially positive news for the global
economic outlook as oil prices continued their slide, with Brent
crude hitting its lowest in nine months.
Higher energy prices essentially act as a tax on consumers
and businesses, so the drop should give a fillip to spending
power and demand.
For now, the drag from Wall Street was too much for regional
markets and MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside
Japan slipped 0.5 percent.
In China, the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and
Shenzhen A-share listings shed 1 percent.
Japan's Topix gave up 0.9 percent, while the Nikkei
fell 1 percent. Index heavyweight SoftBank slid
3.8 percent on reports its U.S. subsidiary Sprint had dropped
its bid to acquire No. 4 U.S. carrier T-Mobile because of
Sprint's shares slid 11 percent after hours, while
T-Mobile Inc lost 8 percent.
In another failed bid, Twenty-First Century Fox,
the media company controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said it had
withdrawn its offer to buy Time Warner Inc.
Shares of Fox jumped, gaining 8.6 percent in after-hours
action, while Time Warner shares fell over 11 percent.
The Dow had already dropped 0.84 percent on Tuesday,
while the S&P 500 lost 0.97 percent and the Nasdaq
All 10 S&P 500 sectors ended lower, led by a 2.1 percent
drop in energy stocks as ample supply pressured oil
Shares had been weak for most of the Tuesday session, but
selling accelerated in the afternoon on reports that Russian
troops were massing near the Ukraine border.
The unease over Ukraine helped put a mild bid into
Treasuries, with yields on 10-year notes down a tick
at 2.48 percent.
In currencies, the dollar hit its highest against a basket
of currencies since last September after the Institute
for Supply Management said service-sector growth hit an
eight-and-a-half-year peak on strength in new orders and
U.S. factory orders were also solid in July and data showed
positive revisions to durable goods orders, a sign that the
economy continues to improve.
The dollar index was last at 81.544, not far from the
overnight peak of 81.626. The euro languished at $1.3367,
having plumbed a nine-month trough of $1.3358.
The dollar had less luck on the yen, lapsing back to 102.54
from Tuesday's high of 102.93.
The standout currency was the New Zealand dollar, which
skidded to two-month lows after milk prices fell again at an
auction held by Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world's biggest
In commodities, gold failed to get much of a lift from
safe-haven flows and idled at $1,289.95 an ounce.
Oil prices remained under pressure as plentiful supplies in
Europe and North America outweighed fears that violence in the
Middle East and North Africa could disrupt production.
Brent crude edged up 35 cents on Wednesday to
$104.96, but that followed its weakest close since November
2013. U.S. crude was 24 cents firmer at $97.62, following
its lowest settlement since early February.
(Editing by Eric Meijer)