* Chilean central bank rates decision awaited * Brazil bank lending rose in 2019 * China virus fears still linger By Shreyashi Sanyal Jan 29 (Reuters) - Stocks in Latin America traded higher on Wednesday, while currencies remained stuck in tight ranges against a stronger dollar, as investors reassessed exposure to riskier assets amid an ongoing coronavirus outbreak in China. MSCI'S index for Latin American stocks rose 0.4%, rising for the second straight session. Latin American assets were faced with a hefty sell-off at the beginning of the week as the virus outbreak stoked fears of potential economic damage to the world's second-biggest economy. Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that preventing and containing the new coronavirus, which has killed 133 people, remained a grim and complex task. "The coronavirus continues to spread... despite all the negative virus headlines, risk appetite is roaring higher," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, wrote in a note. Currencies in Latin America traded in a narrow range against the dollar, which held at near two-month highs. The Chilean peso weakened slightly ahead of the Central Bank of Chile's decision on interest rates, expected at 2100 GMT. "We expect BCCh to stay put at today's meeting. They will likely keep a cautious stance as the FX intervention program is still open and political uncertainty may rise ahead of the late April referendum," said Dirk Willer, head of emerging market strategy at Citi Research, and Kenneth Lam, an emerging markets FX strategist, wrote in a note. Violent anti-government protests in Chile which erupted in October caused its peso currency to fall nearly 15%, but the central bank is still hopeful that the relative calm in recent weeks will be enough to keep the country out of recession. Other major Latin American currencies - Brazil's real , Colombia's peso and Mexico's peso - barely moved. In Brazil, central bank figures showed bank lending and the financial health of borrowers in Latin America's largest economy ended 2019 on a positive note, as default ratios and lending spreads fell against a backdrop of strong credit growth. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1456 GMT Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1096.57 -0.47 MSCI LatAm 2837.54 0.4 Brazil Bovespa 115980.46 -0.43 Mexico IPC 44761.63 0.1 Chile IPSA 4580.13 0.21 Argentina MerVal 41340.79 1.252 Colombia COLCAP 1627.40 0.17 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 4.2037 -0.24 Mexico peso 18.7330 -0.09 Chile peso 787.6 0.10 Colombia peso 3392.32 -0.23 Peru sol 3.3448 -0.20 Argentina peso 60.2200 -0.07 (interbank) (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru)
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