EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies flat against firmer dollar; Brazil's real outshines

Shreyashi Sanyal and Sagarika Jaisinghani


* Brazil's real up for first time in three sessions

* Mexican peso dips after inflation data

* Dollar stands near two-week highs

Dec 23 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies traded in a tight range on Monday, as the dollar firmed after solid U.S. economic data, while Brazil's real was on course to rise after two straight sessions of declines. The dollar stood near two-week highs after data published on Friday showed the U.S. economy, already enjoying a record expansion, maintained its moderate growth as the year ended.

The MSCI's index of Latin American currencies was flat on Monday, after having posted three consecutive weeks of gains arising largely from risk-on buying after the United States and China signed an interim trade deal. "Things have had a good run recently and we're now just seeing low volumes, low volatility and a small little profit taking," said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets. Analysts also said that any significant moves in currencies were unlikely this week, given the light economic calendar before the holidays. Brazil's real, however, edged higher for the first time in three sessions. President Jair Bolsonaro said late on Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump told him in a phone conversation that the United States will not levy new tariffs on Brazilian steel and aluminum as threatened earlier this month. The Mexican peso dipped against the dollar as data from national statistics agency INEGI showed consumer prices in the first half of December slipped well below the central bank's 3% target. The report likely paves the way for the Bank of Mexico to keep cutting the benchmark interest rate. The central bank on Thursday cut rates, on softening headline inflation and slack in the economy but highlighted concern that a recent minimum wage hike could stoke price pressures. "Soft inflation will allow Mexico's central bank to continue its easing cycle. We expect a further 50 bps of rate cuts over the coming months," said Nikhil Sanghani an economist at Capital Economics.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1416 GMT;

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru)