EMERGING MARKETS-All is quiet for Latin America Christmas Eve trading

Medha Singh

(There will be no stock market report on Wednesday due to the Christmas holiday. Reuters will resume coverage on Thursday.)

* Brazil, Argentina shut on Christmas Eve

* Mexican peso flat in shorter trading session

(Recasts, updates prices, adds quote) Dec 24 (Reuters) - Latin America stocks and currencies were looking to close the final week of the year with gains as cooling trade tensions drove demand in thin Christmas Eve trading. With markets in Brazil and Argentina closed and a light economic calendar, analysts do not expect any significant moves in emerging market assets, with low trading volumes. Mexico's peso edged lower against the dollar as data showed Latin America's No. 2 economy contracted in October from September in seasonally adjusted terms, marking a poor fourth quarter start after nine months of stagnation. Consumer prices fell short of the Mexican central bank's 3% inflation target in the first half of December, a report on Monday showed, raising the chances of further monetary easing.

"The Mexican economy is still not taking off ... One of the challenges of the Mexican government will be to reactivate local and foreign investment in infrastructure projects," Alfonso Esparza, currency analyst at OANDA, said. The Mexican peso has outperformed other currencies in the region this year, with the trade-sensitive currency's December gains supported by the U.S. House approval of new North American trade deal and an initial U.S.-China trade pact. Improving Sino-U.S. trade relations have also put the MSCI's index of Latin American currencies on course for its best monthly percentage gain this year. But some analysts pointed to creeping doubts over how an initial trade deal could work toward resolving the nearly two-year long dispute, which has dented global business sentiment. The Chilean peso firmed 0.5%, while the country's stock index edged 0.2% lower.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1816 GMT:



(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Abraham González; Editing by Alexander Smith)