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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks post narrow gains in cautious buying

(Adds details on Mexican stocks, peso; closing levels) SAO PAULO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark stock index ended slightly higher on Friday as investors sought buying opportunities among stocks that had fallen about 3 percent in the last three sessions on doubts about whether the country's Congress would pass a proposed overhaul of pensions. In recent days, investors and analysts have focused on attempts by President Michel Temer to whip up the votes he needs in Congress to pass the pension bill, seen as vital to bolstering Brazil's fiscal health. Equity and currency markets held relatively steady across Latin America. Mexico's S&P/BVM IPC share index briefly reached its lowest level since March before recovering to close 0.37 percent higher than Thursday. The Mexican peso briefly strengthened after former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors delving into the actions of President Donald Trump's inner circle before he took office in January. The peso later pared gains to trade almost flat. Mexico's financial markets have been rattled since Trump took office due to fears he could follow up on campaign threats to pull the United States out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA, which underpins a large chunk of the country's export business. Broadcaster Grupo Televisa put pressure on Mexico's main share index, with its stock falling 2.3 percent. Bottler and retailer Fomento Economico Mexicano, or FEMSA, helped offset that with shares rising 2.4 percent. In Brazil, the Bovespa index closed up 0.41 percent, while the real fell 0.09 percent. The Bovespa declined 3.4 percent during November as the pension bill was watered down. But investors were more hopeful on Friday ahead of Temer's plan to meet this weekend with Geraldo Alckmin, governor of São Paulo state and a key figure in the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, which would be an important partner in the pension debate. In Argentina, the Merval stock index climbed as institutional investors made select purchases on the relatively small index, including a focus on energy utilities. The index rose 0.14 percent, and the Argentine peso jumped as high as 1.17 percent before ending flat.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2230 GMT:

Stock indexes Latest Daily YTD pct pct change

change

MSCI Emerging Markets 1,115.94 -0.43 29.42 MSCI LatAm 2,729.77 0.39 16.62 Brazil Bovespa 72,264.45 0.41 19.99 Mexico IPC 47,265.31 0.37 3.55 Chile IPSA 5,024.42 0.42 21.03 Chile IGPA 25,274.71 0.43 21.90 Argentina MerVal 26,941.63 0.14 59.25 Colombia IGBC 10,840.11 0.29 7.03 Venezuela IBC 1,357.95 2.89 -95.72 Currencies Latest Daily YTD pct pct change

change

Brazil real 3.2580 -0.09 -0.27 Mexico peso 18.6125 0.09 11.45 Chile peso 647.8 0.00 3.54 Colombia peso 2,996.6 0.51 0.16 Peru sol 3.234 0.00 5.57 Argentina peso (interbank) 17.2200 0.52 -7.81 Argentina peso (parallel) 17.96 0.00 -6.35

(Reporting by Gram Slattery and Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by David Gregorio and Dave Graham)