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EMERGING MARKETS-Mexican peso, stocks snap three-day losing streak

    * Chilean peso hits new 14-month high
    * Mexico to start vaccination on Thursday 
    * Dollar weakens, supporting EM currencies 

    By Shashank Nayar
    Dec 23 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso and stocks gained on
Wednesday as rising oil prices and an improving economic outlook
outweighed fears about a more contagious variant of the
coronavirus in Britain that roiled global markets this week.
    The peso and the IPC equities index snapped a
three-day losing streak as prices of oil - Mexico's top export -
rose more than 1%, supported by a weaker dollar.
    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said COVID-19
vaccinations will begin in Mexico on Thursday, starting with
healthcare workers, and that he expects the economy to have
recovered almost to its pre-pandemic levels by the end of the
first quarter of 2021.
    Riskier assets jumped on Wednesday as investors looked past
a last-minute intervention by U.S. President Donald Trump over
pandemic relief plans and on hopes that COVID-19 vaccines will
be effective against the new virus variant.
    "High-beta currencies are rallying against the greenback on
hopes that the COVID vaccines are expected to work on the new
strain of the virus," said Edward Moya, an analyst at Oanda in
New York.
    Investors are counting on a weakening dollar - on track for
its weakest year since 2017 - to boost rallies in everything
from U.S. stocks to emerging markets and industrial metals in
2021.
    The currency of the world's largest copper producer Chile
 hit a fresh 14-month high after prices of the metal 
pushed back towards their multi-year highs.        
    However, Brazil's real and the Argentine and
Colombian pesos reversed early gains, although stocks in
the region outperformed. The broader Latin American stocks index
 rose 0.4%, tracking gains in global stocks.
    Shares in Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petroleo
Brasileiro SA jumped 2.9% after it started the
process of selling its 51% stake in the Brazil-Bolivia gas
pipeline as part of a divestment programme.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
    
                                       Latest       Daily %
                                                     change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                    1257.59        0.71
 MSCI LatAm                               2422.58        0.44
 Brazil Bovespa                         117661.03        0.88
 Mexico IPC                              43119.35        1.22
 Chile IPSA                               4160.77        -0.7
 Argentina MerVal                        51068.58       1.313
 Colombia COLCAP                          1416.54        1.12 Currencies                  Latest       Daily %
                                                     change
 Brazil real                               5.1784       -0.33
 Mexico peso                              20.0930        0.19
 Chile peso                                   715        1.03
 Colombia peso                            3480.25       -0.50
 Peru sol                                  3.6158       -0.11
 Argentina peso (interbank)               83.3500       -0.12
                                                   
 

 (Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten
Donovan)
  
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