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EMERGING MARKETS-Peru's sol rises as some fears ease over policy changes, Colombian peso up

    * Colombia central bank holds interest rates steady
    * Peru's Castillo wants to keep central bank head
    * Mexico's Salinas says his Banco Azteca may embrace bitcoin

 (Adds market analyst, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew and Ambar Warrick
    June 28 (Reuters) - Peru's sol rose sharply from near record
lows on Monday as socialist presidential candidate Pedro
Castillo assuaged some fears over radical policy changes, while
Colombia's peso rose after the central bank held rates, as
expected. 
    The sol jumped 2.5% after Castillo said he would keep
on the head of the central bank if he was confirmed the winner
of a June 6 election.
    The sol has lost 9% since Castillo won the first round vote
in April, and has been trading around record lows as investors
fear sweeping reforms in the mining industry in the world's
second-biggest producer of copper. 
    The Colombian peso rose 0.7% and was set for its best
day in more than three weeks, after the central bank held
interest rates as part of an expansive monetary policy to tide
the country through the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    But analysts said the Colombian bank could follow its
regional peers into hawkish territory.  
    The central banks of Brazil and Mexico, the two biggest
economies in Latin America, recently raised interest rates and
signaled more rate hikes were on the way as they attempt to stem
rising inflation. Chile's central bank also mulled hikes in its
June meeting, minutes showed. 
    "Colombia may soon join this club," said Nikhil Sanghani, an
emerging markets economist with Capital Economics. 
    "While the region appears to be on the brink of a broader
tightening cycle, in general we think that the upward revision
to investors' rate expectations has gone too far," he said.
    The hawkish moves have helped Latin American currencies mark
stronger year-to-date gains than their broader emerging market
peers.  
    Most other Latin American currencies made small moves on
Monday. The dollar traded little changed, awaiting U.S. payrolls
data later in the week.
    Brazil's real rose 0.1%. The Brazilian central bank's
weekly survey showed a 12th consecutive weekly rise in inflation
forecasts for this year to 5.97%, more than two percentage
points above the bank's year-end goal of 3.75%.
    Meanwhile, Brazil is making progress on studies into
launching a digital currency, but there are several challenges
to overcome, including technology and the difficulty in ensuring
uniformity across the world, central bank chief Roberto Campos
Neto said on Friday.
    In Mexico, billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego said his
banking business, Banco Azteca, may begin using bitcoin, which
would make it the country's first bank to start accepting the
cryptocurrency.    
    Chilean markets were closed for a holiday.
    
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
    
                              Latest     Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1380.43              0.06
                                        
 MSCI LatAm                    2660.06             -0.16
                                        
 Brazil Bovespa              127063.56             -0.15
                                        
 Mexico IPC                   50217.20             -0.66
                                        
 Argentina MerVal             64620.07            -0.788
                                        
 Colombia COLCAP               1269.73             -1.13 Currencies             Latest     Daily % change
 Brazil real                    4.9309              0.09
                                        
 Mexico peso                   19.8038              0.03
                                        
 Chile peso                     733.75             -0.16
                                        
 Colombia peso                 3715.31              0.72
 Peru sol                       3.8838              2.47
                                        
 Argentina peso                95.6800             -0.07
 (interbank)                            
                                        
 
    
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru
Editing by Paul Simao and Grant McCool)
  
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