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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies weaken on firmer dollar

    * Brazil's credit conditions improve in February  
    * Argentina's biggest province extends $7 bln debt deadline
again 
    * Bolsonaro's govt replaces key Banco do Brasil board
members

 (Adds bullets, background; updates prices throughout)
    By Shreyashi Sanyal
    March 29 (Reuters) - Currencies in Latin America weakened on
Monday against a strengthening dollar on the improving U.S.
economic outlook, with the Colombian peso leading declines.   
    Colombia's peso fell 0.8% against the dollar, even as
oil prices stabilized.
    Among other Latin American currencies, Chile's peso
slipped 0.1% after falling at least 1% earlier in the day.
Chile's central bank, which holds a monetary policy committee
meeting on Tuesday, is not expected to move rates, with markets
pricing in two rate hikes by the end of the year.
    Like most emerging market central banks recently, Chile is
expected to sound a bit more hawkish. Brazil's central bank
minutes showed officials discussing more interest rate hikes,
last week. 
    "The global rate-cutting cycle that occurred in the wake of
the pandemic has ended and even begun to reverse," economists at
Capital Economics wrote in a client note. "But in the face of
rising inflation, several emerging market central banks hiked
interest rates, and by more than most expected."
    Separately, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said on
Sunday he will ask Congress to postpone the election of an
assembly to write a new constitution for the country from April
until May due to a rise in coronavirus cases.
    The Brazilian real weakened 0.7% against the
dollar, while Mexico's peso slipped 0.6%. The MSCI's
index for Latin American currencies fell 0.8%.
    A survey showed a fall in Brazil's services sector
confidence accelerated in March to its lowest since June last
year as a deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic darkened
the outlook for businesses and consumers.   
    Credit conditions in Brazil improved in February, central
bank figures showed, as a broad measure of consumer and business
default ratios held steady at a decade low, bank lending spreads
narrowed, and credit growth rose.
    High-yielding emerging market currencies have come under
pressure this month from rising U.S. bond yields, which have
surged on expectations of higher inflation and pushed up demand
for the dollar.  
    The Turkish lira was among the few emerging market
currencies to strengthen against the dollar as Sahap Kavcioglu,
the new central bank governor who was appointed in a shock
overhaul this month, played down "prejudiced" expectations of an
interest rate cut in April or the following months.
    Argentina's Buenos Aires province said it would extend the
deadline for its $7 billion foreign debt restructuring until
April 23, amid rising tensions with creditors after a year of
negotiations that have failed to reach an agreement.

    Stocks across Latin American markets were flat to lower,
with the MSCI's index for Latam equities down
0.6%.
    The Brazilian government nominated three new board members
at state-controlled lender Banco do Brasil, according
to a Monday filing, after Andre Brandao quit as chief executive
earlier this month under pressure from President Jair Bolsonaro.

    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1911 GMT:
 
          Stock indexes                   Latest    Daily %
                                                     change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                     1309.07      0.12
 MSCI LatAm                                2245.77     -0.62
 Brazil Bovespa                          115098.34      0.28
 Mexico IPC                               47504.17      0.26
 Chile IPSA                                4916.67      1.27
 Argentina MerVal                         47045.10     1.301
 Colombia COLCAP                           1313.99     -0.04
                                                            
             Currencies                   Latest    Daily %
                                                     change
 Brazil real                                5.7795     -0.71
 Mexico peso                               20.6190     -0.19
 Chile peso                                  732.7     -0.11
 Colombia peso                             3716.24     -0.78
 Peru sol                                   3.7498     -0.47
 Argentina peso (interbank)                91.9100     -0.07
                                                    
 Argentina peso (parallel)                     139      2.16
                                                    
 
 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru
Editing by Alistair Bell and Sonya Hepinstall)
  
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