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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks fall as financials drag, Mexico's peso firms

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Brazil stocks retreated from all-time highs on Tuesday as shares of the country's largest private lender, Itau Unibanco Holding SA, weighed, while Mexico's peso was on course for its best day in two weeks. Bucking a rise in broader emerging markets and global stocks, Brazil's Bovespa stock index slipped 0.4 percent as shares of Itau Unibanco fell 2.8 percent after its loan growth guidance disappointed analysts. The bank reported quarterly earnings Monday that matched estimates, and increased its payout ratio to shareholders for the second year in a row, but shares slipped on Tuesday as investors reacted to the company's loan growth guidance that analysts consider less aggressive than its peers.

Shares of the lender's largest shareholder, Itaúsa Investimentos SA, dipped 2.5 percent. Brazilian food processor BRF SA rose after it announced the appointment of former Petrobras Chief Executive Ivan Monteiro as its new chief financial officer. Brazil's currency barely moved against a steady dollar. The central bank is expected to keep the benchmark rate unchanged at its meeting on Wednesday, a Reuters poll showed.

Investors will also be eagerly awaiting the results of a ministerial meeting led by the Vice President Hamilton Mourao on Tuesday at which pension reforms will be the theme. Meanwhile, the Mexican peso firmed 0.3 percent and looked set to log its biggest one-day gain since Jan 23. Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note valuations of high yielding emerging market currencies are more attractive than they were a year ago. This is especially true for Mexico and Colombia, where there are opportunities for attractive total returns in local fixed income and currency markets. In Chile, the peso and stocks were little changed.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1359 GMT:

Stock indexes Latest Daily %

change

MSCI Emerging Markets 1049.19 0.11MSCI LatAm 2952.08 -0.41Brazil Bovespa 98129.61 -0.47Mexico IPC - -Chile IPSA 5474.84 0.03Argentina MerVal - -Colombia IGBC - -Currencies Latest Daily %

change

Brazil real 3.6707 0.04Mexico peso 19.0472 0.30Chile peso 652.8 -0.11Colombia peso - -Peru sol - -Argentina peso - -

(interbank)

(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru;)