* US stocks suffer geopolitical jitters, Asia follows
* European share markets seen opening down 0.7 pct to 1 pct
* 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 smothered markets with a mood
of risk aversion.
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 0.4 percent.
Europe also looked like opening down, with spreadbetters
predicting losses of between 0.7 percent and 1 percent for the
FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40.
German industrial orders posted their biggest monthly fall
since September 2011 in June as geopolitical developments and
risks made companies more cautious about taking out contracts,
data from the Economy Ministry showed on Wednesday.
In China, the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and
Shenzhen A-share pared its early losses to be down 0.2 percent.
Japan's Topix gave up 0.97 percent, while the Nikkei
fell 1 percent. Index heavyweight SoftBank slid
3.6 percent on reports its U.S. subsidiary Sprint had dropped a
bid to acquire No. 4 U.S. carrier T-Mobile because of regulatory
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withdrawn its offer to buy Time Warner Inc.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
0.71 percent. All 10 S&P 500 sectors ended lower, led by
a 2.1 percent drop in energy stocks.
Wall Street had been soft 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 81.580, not far from the
overnight peak of 81.626. The euro languished at $1.3363,
having plumbed a nine-month trough of $1.3358.
The dollar had less luck on the yen, lapsing back to 102.58
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 got a slow-motion lift from safe-haven
flows and edged up to $1,291.60 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 inched up 20 cents on Wednesday to
$104.81, but that followed its weakest close since November
2013. U.S. crude added only 8 cents to $97.46, following
its lowest settlement since early February.
(Editing by Eric Meijer)