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EMERGING MARKETS-Downbeat data dents Brazil's real, Mexican peso shrugs off rate cut

    * Colombian peso outpaces regional peers
    * Mexican central bank cut rates as expected

 (Updates prices)
    By Ambar Warrick and Susan Mathew
    Feb 11 (Reuters) - Brazil's real weakened on Thursday on
downbeat economic data, while an expected interest rate cut in
Mexico elicited little reaction from the peso. 
    Mexico's peso was up half a percent after a brief and
slight paring of gains when the central bank cut the key
interest rate, for the first time since September, by 25 basis
points to 4.00% in a unanimous decision.
    The Bank of Mexico said the balance of risks for inflation
in Mexico and the outlook for economic activity remained
uncertain while risks for the economy were tilted toward the
downside.
    Strength in oil prices supported the crude exporter's
currency as it did fellow regional oil exporter Colombia's peso
 which led gains across the region with a 1% rise.
    Data showing a stalling recovery in the U.S. labour market
strengthened the case for a large stimulus package there,
spurring appetite for riskier assets in emerging markets. 
    Brazil's real, however, lagged its peers for a second
day, as data showed services activity unexpectedly fell in
December because of a second wave of coronavirus cases.

    Concerns over stretched fiscal spending have hurt the real,
despite the prospect of quicker-than-expected rate hikes by the
central bank. 
    Brazil's central bank president Roberto Campos Neto also
warned that an economic recovery in Latam's largest economy was
losing steam.
    Bets on more U.S. stimulus and steady vaccine rollouts have
driven investors into riskier assets such as EM equities
 of late, an index of which hit a record high on
Thursday. But Latam stocks, which were flat on
the day, have lagged their peers through 2020.
    
    Cement producer Cemex rose almost 4% to top
Mexico's main index after the company reported net income
of $70 million for the fourth quarter, compared with a $238
million loss a year earlier, bolstered by higher sales in the
United States and Mexico.
    The debt restructuring journey for Argentina's troubled
energy major YPF saw it swerve a default on Thursday
after it received support from bondholders of almost 60% its
2021 bond maturing in March. 
    Argentina consumer prices rose 4.0% in January versus a
month earlier, data showed, flat against December's result and
slightly ahead of analyst expectations amid fears inflation is
heating up.
    The Argentine peso has been successively hitting new
lows with declining economic fundamentals providing no support. 

    Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
  Stock indexes           Latest   Daily %
                                   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets    1428.98     0.42
                                   
 MSCI LatAm               2403.15     0.14
                                   
 Brazil Bovespa         119318.76     0.75
                                   
 Mexico IPC              44081.18    -1.42
                                   
 Chile IPSA               4548.20     0.45
                                   
 Argentina MerVal        51855.49   -0.164
                                   
 Colombia COLCAP          1360.90    -0.97
                                   
                                          
      Currencies          Latest   Daily %
                                   change
 Brazil real               5.3878    -0.35
                                   
 Mexico peso              19.9530     0.34
                                   
 Chile peso                 724.2     0.23
                                   
 Colombia peso               3524     0.96
                                   
 Peru sol                  3.6398    -0.09
                                   
 Argentina peso           88.4400    -0.08
 (interbank)                       
                                   
 
    
 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrea
Ricci and Grant McCool)
  
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