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EMERGING MARKETS-Argentina's Merval leads gains on high interest rates, oil prices

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SAO PAULO, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Argentina's peso currency and Merval stock index registered solid gains on Wednesday after the nation's central bank held its benchmark interest rate and crude prices buoyed the nation's commodities-heavy equities market. On Tuesday evening, Argentina's central bank held its benchmark rate at 28.75 percent in order to fend of inflation that remains stubbornly high. That sent Argentina's peso up 0.22 percent and helped lift its main stock index more than 1 percent, aided by financial stocks that stand to gain from high interest rates. Argentine gas and energy distribution companies also registered strong gains as global crude increased amid supply disruptions in North America. Brazil's Bovespa index was roughly steady, as President Michel Temer continued to negotiate with allies to bring about a pension reform seen as key to shoring up the country's fiscal health. Those light gains came as buying slowed slightly, following three straight bull sessions, in which the Bovespa accumulated a rise of 5.3 percent. Chile's IPSA blue-chip index was the big loser among Latin America's equity markets, falling over 0.5 percent, as the strong performance of the nation's left in first round elections over the weekend continues to spook markets.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1618 GMT:

Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1158.10 0.62 33.48 MSCI LatAm 2822.89 0.43 20.08 Brazil Bovespa 74652.36 0.08 23.95 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC 48028.17 -0.33 5.23 Chile IPSA 5166.69 -0.62 24.46 Chile IGPA 26009.61 -0.54 25.44 Argentina MerVal 27556.01 1.06 62.88 Colombia IGBC 10874.62 0.31 7.37 Venezuela IBC 700.17 0.13 -97.79 Currencies daily % YTD % change change

Latest

Brazil real 3.2371 0.45 0.37 Mexico peso 18.7200 0.31 10.81 Chile peso 633.5 0.10 5.87 Colombia peso 2980.52 0.42 0.70 Peru sol 3.24 -0.12 5.37 Argentina peso (interbank) 17.4600 0.19 -9.08 Argentina peso (parallel) 18.08 0.22 -6.97

(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by David Gregorio)