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EMERGING MARKETS-Trade optimism lifts Latam stocks, eyes on Banxico meet

Agamoni Ghosh

Sept 26 (Reuters) - A revival in U.S.-China trade optimism pulled stocks higher in Latin America on Thursday, while Mexico's peso weakened to lag its regional peers ahead of the central bank's monetary policy meeting. China said it was in close communication with the United States and was preparing to make progress in their trade talks in October, soothing investor concerns. MSCI's index of Latin American stocks rose 0.7%, in line with global moves in equities. Sao Paulo-listed shares led gains, while stocks in Colombia lagged as shares of oil firm Ecopetrol SA fell 1% on the back of lower oil prices. The real climbed 0.3% after the central bank raised its 2019 economic growth forecast to 0.9% from 0.8%, adding that the pace of growth will likely accelerate to 1.8% next year. Mexico's peso fell 0.2% to underperform its regional peers ahead of Banxico's central bank monetary policy meeting on Thursday where officials are expected to cut interest rates by 25 basis points. Further, data showed economic activity fell slightly in July compared to the previous month in Latin America's second-largest economy reviving fears that the economy may approach a recession after stagnating between April and June. "A cut today should be fully expected, as inflation has continued to surprise to the downside," said Morgan Stanley analysts in a note. "While the latest cut was delivered through a 4-1 vote, we would expect today's cut to be unanimous." Chile's peso was mostly flat, in tandem with prices of copper, while stocks in the SPIPSA index rose 0.1% higher.

Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 14:31 GMT

Stock indexes daily %Latest changeMSCI Emerging Markets 1009.08 0.35MSCI LatAm 2679.77 0.54Brazil Bovespa 104643.98 0.26Mexico IPC 42913.90 0.03Chile IPSA 5010.21 0.08Argentina MerVal 28589.22 1.336Colombia IGBC 12945.86 -0.48Currencies daily %Latest changeBrazil real 4.1439 0.21Mexico peso 19.6221 -0.30Chile peso 726.4 0.01Colombia peso 3428.81 0.07Peru sol 3.3558 -0.17Argentina peso 57.1700 0.05

(interbank)

(Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)