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EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies up on hopes of dovish Fed chair

SAO PAULO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies strengthened on Thursday on a report that U.S. President Donald Trump was leaning toward Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as his pick to head the U.S. central bank. The report, published by Bloomberg News, fostered expectations that U.S. interest rates might take longer to rise in coming months than previously anticipated, supporting demand for high-yielding emerging market assets. Powell is seen as more dovish than alternative candidates John Taylor, a Stanford University economist, and former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh. The Mexican peso firmed 0.4 percent, while the Colombian peso strengthened 0.3 percent. Both currencies also tracked an increase in prices of oil, a key export. The Brazilian real rose 0.6 percent as investors turned to bargain-hunting the day after it hit a more than four-month low. Still, investors remained concerned about whether President Michel Temer can pass important legislation, such as streamlining the nation's costly social security system. A batch of strong corporate earnings helped to lift the benchmark Bovespa stock index, with gains in shares of drugstore chain Raia Drogasil SA, wood pulpmaker Suzano Papel e Celulose SA and GPA SA. Shares of state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA added the most points to the benchmark index, boosted by rising crude prices. Petrobras, as the company is known, was part of three consortiums winning blocks in Brazil's coveted pre-salt oil region in an auction on Friday.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1550 GMT:

Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change

Latest

MSCI Emerging Markets 1111.34 0.29 28.52 MSCI LatAm 2856.49 -0.11 22.17 Brazil Bovespa 76064.85 0.22 26.30 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC 49076.06 0.18 7.52 Argentina MerVal 27757.49 -0.26 64.07 Colombia IGBC 10873.11 -1.22 7.36 Venezuela IBC 716.58 -0.04 -97.74 Currencies daily % YTD % change change

Latest

Brazil real 3.2661 0.55 -0.52 Mexico peso 19.1300 0.42 8.44 Colombia peso 3007.25 0.26 -0.19 Peru sol 3.246 -0.18 5.18 Argentina peso (interbank) 17.6150 0.31 -9.88 Argentina peso (parallel) 18.04 0.22 -6.76

(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)