EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks at record high on GDP upgrade, most Latam markets in lull

Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh

markets in lull@

* Brazil to be 'standout' in 2020 -market analyst

* Broader sentiment remains positive

* Mexico cuts rates by 25bps, warns of inflation

(Rewrites with updated prices, market analyst comment) Dec 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian equities touched a record high after the central bank raised its 2020 economic growth forecast while most Latin American assets were flat on Thursday as trading slowed ahead of the holiday season. The central bank raised its 2020 GDP growth forecast to 2.2%, but cautioned that was conditional on continued economic reforms. "Brazil is going to be the standout of 2020 just because of all the work that was put in this year towards reforms and pushing it through," said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst at OANDA in Toronto. The MSCI's Latin American stock index was largely flat for the day. Argentine stocks rose about 1.8%, while Chilean stocks treaded water. While global trade ructions and regional political violence had undercut Latin American risk assets for a good portion of 2019, regional assets had a second wind in the last quarter, thanks to optimism over U.S.-China trade and cheap local valuations. "With the depreciation of the currencies this year, there were a lot of good buys from solid sectors. We saw the Brazilian stock market hit a record and that is just a lot of money pouring back into it," OANDA's Esparza added. Mexican stocks were a touch lower, while the peso traded sideways after the central bank cut rates by 25 basis points, as widely expected. The bank also said that economic uncertainty would persist in 2020 and that inflation would reflect "slack" in the economy. Regional currencies were slightly weaker on the day against a steady dollar, which firmed ahead of U.S. GDP data due on Friday. Brazil's real strengthened slightly, while the Chilean and Argentine pesos weakened against the dollar. The Chilean peso and Peruvian sol were also trading flat.

Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1914 GMT:


(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; editing by Grant McCool)