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EMERGING MARKETS-Mexican peso seesaws over dollar; Argentina stocks hit record

record@ (Updates prices, adds Trump comments) NEW YORK, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso seesawed against the dollar on Thursday as U.S. officials sent mixed signals on the greenback, while Argentina's Merval stock index broke the 35,000-point mark for the first time. Several emerging currencies hit multi-year highs against the greenback, with the dollar index languishing at more than three-year lows after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin departed from traditional U.S. currency policy, saying "obviously a weaker dollar is good for us." The Mexican peso appreciated by more than 1 percent to 18.3025 earlier in the day before U.S. President Donald Trump said Mnuchin had been misinterpreted and that he ultimately wanted the dollar to be strong. Trump's comments helped the dollar to pare losses against major currencies, and the Mexican peso reversed its gains, closing down almost 0.6 percent against the greenback. Elsewhere, Colombia's peso added to Wednesday's 1.48 percent gain against the dollar to reach its strongest level since July 2015, while the Chilean peso closed under 600 per dollar for the first time since May 2015. Brazilian markets were closed for the Sao Paulo anniversary holiday but are expected to soon extend a rally that boosted the benchmark Bovespa stock index to an all-time high above 83,000 points on Wednesday. That advance came after an appeals court upheld a corruption conviction of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Although the conviction could derail his plans to run again for the presidency, Lula, who is leading opinion polls for the October election, said on Thursday he would appeal the decision. Brazilian and Argentine shares have led a Latin American equities rally to start the year that has MSCI's gauge of the region's stocks set for its largest January gains since 2006. The Merval closed up 0.55 percent at 35,141.72 points.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2145 GMT:

Stock indexes Latest Daily YTD pct pct change

change

MSCI Emerging Markets 1,263.45 0.37 9.06 MSCI LatAm 3,201.95 1.01 13.22 Mexico IPC 50,777.90 0.27 3.09 Chile IPSA 5,811.54 0.23 4.44 Chile IGPA 29,216.54 0.23 4.42 Argentina Merval 35,141.72 0.55 16.88 Colombia IGBC 12,307.20 -0.06 8.24 Currencies Latest Daily YTD pct pct change

change

Brazil real 3.1470 0.35 5.28 Mexico peso 18.6100 -0.57 5.85 Chile peso 598.60 0.7 2.68 Colombia peso 2,790 0.84 6.88 Peru sol 3.210 0.09 0.84 Argentina peso (interbank) 19.56 0.38 -4.91 Argentina peso (parallel) 19.91 0.35 -3.42

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Chris Reese)