(Corrects paragraph 1 to say Brazilian real is near a six-week high, not a five-month peak) * Brazil central bank sees 2020 GDP growth at 2.2% * Latam stocks dip after 16 straight days of gains * Broader sentiment remains positive * Mexico rate cut eyed later on Thursday By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick Dec 19 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real hovered near a six-week peak on Thursday as the country's central bank raised its growth forecast for next year, but Latin American equities slipped as investors wound down positions ahead of the Christmas holidays. Brazil's real firmed to 4.06 after the central bank said it now expects 2020 GDP growth of 2.2%, compared with its previous forecast of 1.8%, while cautioning it was conditional on continued progress on economic reforms. The currency has been battered this year, hitting a record low of 4.277 against the dollar, due in part to a failed oil auction. In August, the central bank intervened for the first time in a decade and has since sold dollars regularly. "Sentiment seems to have improved a bit about growth prospects," said William Jackson, chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics in London. "Many emerging markets appear to be at a weak starting point, which suggests the worst for the global industry might have turned." An index of Latin American currencies is on track to rise in 2019 despite choppy trading through the year, marked by violent protests in Chile, skyrocketing inflation in Argentina and a mild recession in Mexico. Investors have also turned optimistic about the global economy after two major risks to growth appeared to have lifted last week with a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks and a pivotal election win for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. But with low expectations of more updates on trade progress before the end of the year, global stocks have slid from record highs. A basket of Latin American stocks shed 0.5%, snapping a 16-day winning streak, with investors booking profits after a rally in December. "It seems a sort of winding down before Christmas; there's very little data being released, or big events to drive markets one way or the other," Jackson said. Most Latin American currencies were also largely flat against the dollar, which remained steady as it shrugged off the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump. The Mexican peso was nearly unchanged ahead of a central bank policy announcement later in the day, where it is expected to lower its key interest rate for the fourth time since August, according to a Reuters poll. The Chilean peso and Peruvian sol were also trading flat. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1453 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1105.30 -0.35 MSCI LatAm 2893.73 -0.47 Brazil Bovespa 114076.24 -0.21 Mexico IPC 45077.32 -0.06 Chile SPIPSA 4739.50 0.01 Argentina MerVal 38098.28 1.271 Colombia Colcap 1634.83 -0.06 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 4.0632 -0.10 Mexico peso 18.9810 -0.11 Chile peso 753.65 -0.36 Colombia peso 3320.08 0.09 Peru sol 3.3408 -0.08 Argentina peso (interbank) 59.8150 - (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru)
Nuestros Estándares: Los principios Thomson Reuters.