(Updates with Colombian central bank, final prices) SAO PAULO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Colombia's central bank lowered its main interest rate in a surprise move on Friday, while Mexico's peso strengthened after the nation's central bank chief said it was undervalued on a day of otherwise quiet activity in Latin American markets. Five of seven board members of the Colombian central bank voted to lower the benchmark rate by a quarter point to 4.75 percent, as policymakers seek to boost growth and as inflation converges to its target quicker than expected. Colombia's peso closed down slightly, as did the country's IGBC main stock index. In Mexico, the peso currency firmed by 0.21 percent to 18.57 to the dollar, though still weaker than the 17 to 18 pesos per dollar range Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens considers reasonable. The Mexican central bank has repeatedly offered dollar hedging instruments in order to cushion the currency, which recently slipped to eight-month lows. The peso has been hurt by concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump may follow up on threats to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), dealing a blow to the economy, which depends heavily on the United States. The Mexican economy shrank for the first time in nearly two years in the third quarter after hurricanes and earthquakes pounded the country. Mexico's central bank sees growth of up to 3 percent next year, but is concerned that the NAFTA talks could falter, which would further dent economic activity and hurt the peso. Most other currencies in the region were near flat. The Brazilian real declined as traders booked profits on a five-day string of gains. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell, dragged down by shares of Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA after the state utility delayed a deadline to sell six power distribution firms in the northeast of the country. Traders in Brazilian markets have erred on the side of caution as doubts linger on whether President Michel Temer will manage to pass a plan to streamline the social security system and curb public debt.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2200 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change
MSCI Emerging Markets 1154.26 0.16 33.86 MSCI LatAm 2817.86 -0.09 20.39 Brazil Bovespa 74157.37 -0.44 23.13 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC 47941.88 -0.4 5.04 Chile IPSA 5040.51 0.12 21.42 Chile IGPA 25366.80 0.02 22.34 Argentina MerVal 27464.78 0.63 62.34 Colombia IGBC 10852.64 -0.09 7.15 Venezuela IBC 712.07 1.06 -97.75 Currencies daily % YTD % change change
Brazil real 3.2325 -0.31 0.52 Mexico peso 18.570 0.21 11.71 Chile peso 634.0 0.16 5.79 Colombia peso 2978.83 -0.07 0.76 Peru sol 3.237 0.12 5.47 Argentina peso (interbank) 17.35 0.29 -8.50 Argentina peso (parallel) 18.02 0.17 -6.66
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Dan Grebler and Lisa Shumaker)