EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX falls, Brazilian real set for best quarter in 12 years

    * Real up 11.5% in Q2, now among top EM currencies this year
    * MSCI Latam FX index up 3.6% in June
    * Peru's sol worst Latam performer in Q2

 (Adds details, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew and Ambar Warrick
    June 30 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies fell on
Wednesday amid rising COVID-19 cases and political noise in
major economies, while Brazil's real was set to add nearly 12%
this quarter after a series of hawkish signals from the central
    The real dipped 0.9%, but was set for a strong
quarter as the central bank kicked off a rate hike cycle with a
series of sharp raises. 
    The real is one of the best performing emerging market
currencies this year, trading 4% higher, after starting the year
as one of the worst performers in the space. 
    But political woes weighed for the day, as pressure on
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro mounted after accusations of
irregularities forced Brazil to suspend a $324 million deal with
India's Bharat Biotech for its COVID-19 vaccine. 
    Bolsonaro fired a Health Ministry official on Wednesday  in
relation to the graft accusation.    
    Bolsonaro's popularity has dropped amid investigations of
his administration's pandemic response, with the number of
deaths due to COVID-19 above 500,000.
    "The bottom line is that this weakens the government and may
imply (more) fiscal spending to maintain support with the
parties in the Congress," said Wilson Ferrarezi, an economist at
TS Lombard. 
    "The more complicated situation in the coming months
especially ahead of the electoral race in 2022 (will weigh on
the real)," he said.
   Sentiment for the day was further dented by a warning from
the Pan American Health Organization that the end of the
COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America was far from nigh, due to
laggard vaccinations.
    The MSCI's index of regional currencies fell
0.6%, as a strong dollar ahead of U.S. jobs data on Friday added
to intraday pressure. 
    But the index was set for its best month since November,
with a 3.6% jump. 
    Mexico's financial stability council on Tuesday highlighted
a pickup in inflation in some advanced economies and the
likelihood of monetary policy tightening as risks to the
country's financial system.
    The Mexican peso slipped 0.6%. 
    Moody's on Tuesday said a credit upgrade for Mexican state
oil company Pemex is unlikely given its consistent negative free
cash flow generation. The agency currently assigns a junk rating
to Latam's most indebted oil major.
    Chile's peso was set for its worst quarter since
March 2020 with a 1.9% loss, as a recent spike in cases spurred
new curbs on activity in the country. 
    Peru's sol was the worst performing Latam currency
this quarter, as uncertainty over the country's hotly contested
presidential elections drove wild swings in the currency.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
                              Latest    Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1373.91           -0.24
 MSCI LatAm                    2629.71           -1.01
 Brazil Bovespa              126759.46           -0.45
 Mexico IPC                   50388.26             0.1
 Chile IPSA                    4347.02            0.53
 Argentina MerVal             62777.22          -0.309
 Colombia COLCAP               1257.37            0.03 Currencies             Latest    Daily % change
 Brazil real                    4.9863           -0.90
 Mexico peso                   19.9251           -0.61
 Chile peso                     733.89           -1.05
 Colombia peso                 3744.67            0.53
 Peru sol                       3.8397            1.15
 Argentina peso                95.7200           -0.01
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten
Donovan and Andrea Ricci)