December 20, 2019 / 2:58 PM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Chile peso firms as lawmakers greenlight constitution vote

    * Chile's peso set for biggest-ever monthly gains
    * Other Latam currencies trading flat
    * Global sentiment remains optimistic
    * Brazil shares dip from record highs

    By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick
    Dec 20 (Reuters) - The Chilean peso gained on Friday as
senators approved a referendum on changing the country's
dictatorship-era constitution next year, while other Latin
American currencies were near flat as traders settled in for the
holidays.
    The peso rose as much as 1% as Congress approved the
plan to ask voters whether the country needed a new
constitution, a central demand of protests that have brought the
country to a near standstill since October and battered the
currency.
    Friday's gains added to an improvement in global outlook
this week and put the peso on track for its biggest-ever monthly
increase.
    A basket of Latin American currencies was
also on course to finish the year on a strong note, as the
United States struck back-to-back deals with some of its most
important trading partners: China, Mexico and Canada.

    But with a U.S.-China trade deal not yet formally signed and
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's hard line on Brexit
negotiations, analysts said there was little motivation for
assets in the developing world to keep up their recent run.
    "The EM rally is running out of steam a bit," said Win Thin,
head of emerging market currency strategy at Brown Brothers
Harriman. "Between the year end, and some uncertainty ahead,
it's very quiet at our trading desk."
    The Brazilian real was nearly flat, shrugging off a
better-than-expected increase in the IPCA-15 consumer price
index, considered the official inflation forecast for Latin
America's biggest economy.
    Mexico's peso gained slightly for the second day in a
row. On Thursday, the central bank cut its benchmark interest
rate for the fourth consecutive time, as expected.
    In equities trading, Brazilian shares dipped from
record highs, with the biggest domestic airline, Gol Linhas
Aereas Inteligentes SA, shedding about 1.2%. 
    The company said it would boost standard ticket prices sold
to its loyalty program Smiles Fidelidade SA by 41%.
Smiles' shares fell 1.3%.
    Chile's stock index was down about 0.4%, while
Argentina's MerVal added 1%.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1438 GMT:
   
     Stock indexes              Latest    Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1107.80             0.11
                                          
 MSCI LatAm                      2897.67            -0.38
                                          
 Brazil Bovespa                114669.91             -0.4
                                          
 Mexico IPC                            -                -
                                          
 Chile SPIPSA                    4735.13            -0.37
                                          
 Argentina MerVal               38515.07            1.135
                                          
 Colombia Colcap                 1642.99            -0.23
                                          
                                                         
        Currencies              Latest    Daily % change
 Brazil real                      4.0746            -0.31
                                          
 Mexico peso                     18.8908             0.12
                                          
 Chile peso                        747.8             0.80
                                          
 Colombia peso                   3317.78            -0.20
 Peru sol                         3.3238             0.25
                                          
 Argentina peso (interbank)      59.8200                -
                                          
 
 (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan
Grebler)
  
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