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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazilian real lifts Latam FX to highest level since 2018

* EM governments sell record $44 bln of bonds in Jan * Brazil c.bank eyes high rates for longer * IMF tells Argentina not to risk 'scarce' reserves * Latam currencies add 1.4%, stocks up 1.0% By Bansari Mayur Kamdar Feb 2 (Reuters) - Brazil's real rose on Thursday after its central bank said overnight it was considering holding interest rates at a six-year high for longer than market expectations, while the broader index rallied to multi-year highs as Federal Reserve's messaging weakened the dollar. The real gained 1.4% by 1520 GMT, touching its highest level since June. "It’s a reaction to the Fed slowing the pace of tightening and the relatively hawkish central bank meeting in Brazil yesterday, in which the policymakers suggested that monetary policy will stay tight for a while yet," said Kimberley Sperrfechter, emerging markets economist at Capital Economics. "That’s shifted interest rate differentials in favour of the real and supported the currency." Brazil's bank's rate-setting committee, known as Copom, left its Selic benchmark interest rate at 13.75% in Wednesday's policy decision, as expected, while the accompanying statement raised concerns about fiscal risks under recently inaugurated President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. "Going forward, for now, we maintain our expectation that the Copom is most likely sitting on their hands throughout 23H2, holding the Selic rate at 13.75%," said strategists at Rabobank in a note. Currencies in Latin America gained 1.4%, hitting their highest level since April 2018, as Fed chair Jerome Powell's overnight message that a "disinflationary" process was taking hold in the world's largest economy weighed on the U.S. dollar. The Mexican peso added 0.2% and Colombia's peso jumped 1.0% supported by firm crude prices and a weakened dollar. Chile's peso added 0.8% to 779.83, while the Peruvian sol gained 1.1% against the dollar. The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday sent a thinly veiled warning to Argentina that it must not undermine targets to rebuild its "scarce" foreign currency reserves following a $1 billion bond buyback by the indebted nation. A roaring start to the year for debt issuance has also helped lift sovereign emerging market bond sales to a record $44 billion peak in January with investors keen to deploy piles of cash. Elsewhere in emerging markets, the Czech National Bank (CNB) left interest rates unchanged at a more than two-decade high, as the economy tipped into a mild recession amid persistent double-digit inflation. India's Adani Group's market losses swelled to more than $100 billion, sparking worries about their potential systemic impact. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1520 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1047.18 0.42 MSCI LatAm 2351.00 0.92 Brazil Bovespa 112115.78 0.04 Mexico IPC 55032.52 0.02 Chile IPSA 5319.20 0.21 Argentina MerVal 253824.97 1.1 Colombia COLCAP 1261.33 -0.56 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 4.9927 1.39 Mexico peso 18.5599 0.22 Chile peso 778.9 0.78 Colombia peso 4576.1 0.48 Peru sol 3.8198 0.53 Argentina peso (interbank) 187.6000 -0.17 Argentina peso (parallel) 373 1.07 (Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru Editing by Nick Zieminski)