(Updates to close) By Susan Mathew Oct 2 (Reuters) - Argentina's peso dropped on Friday after the central bank said it would allow a managed float of the currency, while most other Latin American units fell as global sentiment took a hit after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The Argentine peso led losses with the bank saying it would abandon its current "uniform daily devaluations and introduce greater volatility" as the gap between the official exchange rate and the rate quoted in informal currency markets widened close to 93%. The bank said it would offer trades at 76.95 pesos per dollar at Friday's open, around 0.91% weaker than the close on Thursday. It also increased the important overnight repo rate to 24%, from the current 19%. "Even if the number of measures announced is not low, we do not expect them to change the current dynamics. The measures are likely to be seen as insufficient and hence run the risk of being counterproductive," Citigroup Latam FX strategists said a note. The safe-haven dollar gained traction after Trump and wife, Melania, contracted the disease just four weeks before U.S. elections. Brazil's real, was flat with data showing industrial output rose, slightly less than expected, continuing a pick-up after shuddering to a standstill during coronavirus-linked lockdowns. A Reuters poll showed that Latam currencies are set to remain weighed down this quarter by fears about Brazil's public finances and Mexico's close link to U.S. politics. The real was on track for its fourth straight week of losses, down about 1.7%. Mexico's peso continued its recent trend of outperforming regional peers, up 0.7%, all set to post its biggest weekly rise in more than four months. Currencies of Colombia and Chile declined 0.7% and 0.2%, respectively. Among regional stocks, Sao Paulo shares were weighed down by shares of oil major Petrobras, which tracked a slump in crude prices. Mexican shares were little changed, while Chilean stocks jumped almost 1%. Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1900 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1082.40 -0.22 MSCI LatAm 1819.09 -0.56 Brazil Bovespa 94574.15 -0.95 Mexico IPC 36643.44 0.05 Chile IPSA 3669.49 0.94 Argentina MerVal 43263.30 0.809 Colombia COLCAP 1166.10 0.32 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.6550 -0.05 Mexico peso 21.6422 0.84 Chile peso 789.1 -0.29 Colombia peso 3869.75 -0.68 Peru sol 3.6177 -0.33 Argentina peso 76.9400 -0.90 (interbank) (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by Grant McCool)
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