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EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico peso hits 9-month low on corruption scandal, U.S. tax plan

plan@ BRASILIA, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The Mexican peso hit a nine-month low on Friday, battered by a U.S. tax overhaul and domestic corruption scandals that boost a leftist front-runner's chances in next year's elections. U.S. President Donald Trump signed sweeping tax legislation into law on Friday, slashing the U.S. corporate rate to 21 percent from 35 percent beginning on Jan. 1. The bill has prompted worries in Mexico that the country could lose out on investment to its northern neighbor. Concerns that it may foster inflation and force the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates have also weighed on demand for emerging market currencies. The Mexican peso weakened 0.8 percent, leading losses among Latin American currencies. Concerns that corruption scandals could boost the candidacy of presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whose nationalist pledges could stir tensions with Trump's administration, added to pressure. On Wednesday, authorities arrested a former high-ranking official of the PRI, the latest in a string of damaging allegations to batter Mexico's centrist ruling party. Trading volumes were thin across the region as investors avoided making big bets ahead of the Christmas holiday. The Chilean peso slipped 0.4 percent, while the Brazilian real fell 0.6 percent. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index was nearly flat, but shares of planemaker Embraer SA jumped for a second day in strong volumes. Reports that Embraer had held talks with Boeing Co over a potential tie-up lifted the stock by 22 percent on Thursday. Brazilian President Michel Temer said on Friday that he opposed Boeing taking control of Embraer but would welcome an injection of foreign capital into the regional planemaker.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1730 GMT:

Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change

Latest

MSCI Emerging Markets 1140.91 0.58 31.56 MSCI LatAm 2777.73 -0.46 19.22 Brazil Bovespa 75153.82 0.03 24.78 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC 48515.87 0.03 6.29 Chile IPSA 5537.60 1.59 33.39 Chile IGPA 27851.01 1.44 34.32 Argentina MerVal 28952.36 1.66 71.13 Colombia IGBC 11222.24 0.05 10.80 Venezuela IBC 1258.20 -1.73 -96.03 Currencies daily % YTD % change change

Latest

Brazil real 3.3277 -0.58 -2.36 Mexico peso 19.6325 -0.79 5.66 Chile peso 622.8 -0.37 7.69 Colombia peso 2957.88 0.18 1.47 Peru sol 3.234 1.02 5.57 Argentina peso (interbank) 18.0000 -0.28 -11.81 Argentina peso (parallel) 18.19 -0.55 -7.53

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