EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX, stocks gain on U.S. stimulus talks

    * LatAm stocks, currencies near March highs
    * Chilean peso jumps as copper prices nears 8-year high
    * Mexican and Colombian peso supported by higher oil prices

    By Shashank Nayar
    Dec 17 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies rose
on Thursday as talks of fresh U.S. stimulus aided demand for
riskier assets while the Chilean peso jumped to a 14-month high
as prices for the country's main export copper surged.
    The peso gained 1.5% to 723 per dollar, its strongest
level since October 2019 as copper prices inched toward their
highest in nearly eight years on falling stockpiles.
    MSCIs index of Latin American currencies and
stocks gained nearly 1%, hovering near their
early March highs as the dollar tumbled to its lowest in over
two years.
    The No. 2 U.S. House Democrat Steny Hoyer said he hoped a
deal on fresh fiscal aid would be reached later in the day,
citing progress in COVID-19 deal talks.
    Even after rallying sharply over the past month, driven by
bets on a vaccine-led recovery in the global economy, the MSCI
LatAm stocks and currency indexes are set to end 2020 lower.
    JPMorgan cross asset analyst John Normand expects the MSCI
LatAm equity index to rise to target 2,600 points in 2021, a
nearly 6% upside from Wednesday's close.
    Among currencies, Normand is "overweight" on Brazil,
"neutral" on Mexico and Chile and "underweight" on Peru,
Colombia and Argentina.
    The Mexican peso inched 0.1% higher ahead of the
central bank policy decision on Thursday where analysts expect
the benchmark rates to be left unchanged.
    Pesos in Mexico and Colombia were bolstered by
higher oil prices.
    But gains in Brazil's real were muted as its central
bank downgraded the outlook for 2021 GDP growth to 3.8% from
3.9%, stressing that the review reflects expectations of
anticipated recovery this year in addition to a slower
resumption in the labor market and return to
    "While a weak dollar has helped the real gain, at the moment
what we have in Brazil is a high amount of fiscal uncertainty
with regard to its wider deficits, which continues to weigh on
the currency," said Mauricio Une, an economist at Rabobank.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
 Stock indexes                                  daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                1269.99             0.49
 MSCI LatAm                           2481.08              1.5
 Brazil Bovespa                     118184.87             0.28
 Mexico IPC                              0.00                0
 Chile IPSA                           4127.35              0.4
 Argentina MerVal                        0.00                0
 Colombia COLCAP                      1421.47                0 Currencies                                     daily % change
 Brazil real                           5.0607             0.93
 Mexico peso                          19.8079             0.08
 Chile peso                             722.7             1.54
 Colombia peso                        3402.81             0.45
 Peru sol                              3.5867             0.00
 Argentina peso (interbank)           82.7100            -0.10

 (Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrea