EMERGING MARKETS-Mexican peso gains as delay reported in contentious central bank bill

    * Mexico's lawmakers postpone disputed central bank bill -
    * U.S. stimulus hopes weaken U.S. dollar 
    * Brazil's V-shaped recovery to lose steam -central bank

 (Adds comment, details, updates prices)
    By Medha Singh
    Dec 15 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso broke a key 20 per dollar
barrier on Tuesday after a report lawmakers had agreed to delay
debating a divisive new law that critics say would force
Mexico's central bank to absorb money from drug gangs.
    The peso firmed 1.7% at 19.93 after a four-day slide
as two congressional sources said discussions on the bill on
foreign exchange had been pushed to February.
    Ratings agency Moody's warned the proposed law would be
credit negative for the sovereign as it would undermine
Banxico's autonomy and increase the risks of money laundering.

    The peso pulled back from a recent nine-month high as
Mexico's Senate last week backed the law, drawing a stern rebuke
from Banxico, business groups and economists.
    Adding support to the peso, debt-laden state oil firm Pemex
said it will cover 95.6 billion pesos (about $ 4.85 billion) in
short-term financial liabilities following a recent monetization
of old bonds.
    The market focus will be on a Banxico meeting on Thursday
where policymakers are expected to keep the benchmark interest
rate steady at 4.25%.
    "MXN performance has supported Banxico's easing stance, and
the currency remains in the upper echelons of the EM yield
complex," strategists at TD Securities said.
    "Continued stability should keep the door open to the
prospect of further easing in 2021."
    The Brazilian real and the Colombian and the
Chilean pesos all advanced against the dollar as progress
toward a massive U.S. government stimulus bill supported risk
    Minutes of Brazil's latest central bank meeting showed
policymakers see inflation staying high in December due to
temporary shocks to Latin America's largest economy.

    The real rallied to a six-month high last week as
policymakers said they could "soon" drop a pledge to keep rates
lower for longer amid a spike in inflation. 
    "We expect the start of a hiking cycle in the fourth quarter
of 2021," economists at Morgan Stanley said in a note.
    Meanwhile, credit rating agency Fitch Ratings revised the
outlook for Peru's economy to "negative" from "stable" following
the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and political upheaval.

    Still, the firm maintained Peru's sovereign debt profile at
'BBB +'. The Peruvian sol edged 0.1% higher.
    Latin American stocks jumped to a nine-month high with Sao
Paolo-traded shares erasing all of their losses for
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
 Stock indexes                                  daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                 1250.80            0.03
 MSCI LatAm                            2426.98            1.71
 Brazil Bovespa                      116070.21            1.27
 Mexico IPC                           43692.44            0.28
 Chile IPSA                            4061.66            0.22
 Argentina MerVal                     53396.65           0.684
 Colombia COLCAP                       1403.28            1.01 Currencies                                     daily % change
 Brazil real                            5.0855           -0.02
 Mexico peso                           19.9099            1.66
 Chile peso                              735.9           -0.11
 Colombia peso                          3417.2            0.24
 Peru sol                               3.5847            0.08
 Argentina peso (interbank)            82.5300           -0.08
 (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan
Oatis and Tom Brown)