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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies rise as dollar dips, investors return to riskier assets

By Susan Mathew

(Updates prices) By Susan Mathew July 3 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies firmed on Wednesday as the dollar dipped and as investors gauged the implications of the nomination of the IMF's Christine Lagarde to head the European Central Bank. Markets are hoping that International Monetary Fund head Lagarde will maintain the ECB's recent dovish tone, which was echoed by the U.S. Federal Reserve, and had spurred inflows into riskier assets last month. "People think that Lagarde will be more dovish," said Gustavo Rangel, chief economist, LATAM at ING, adding that general expectations of a more support from the ECB and Fed are driving the market on the day. Regional currencies rose between 0.2% and 0.8% against the dollar, with Colombia's peso getting an additional boost from higher oil prices. Brazil' real rose 0.8% with the focus remaining on pension reforms. A special congressional committee is to vote on the bill later in the day before it is sent to the Lower House of parliament. Investors are hoping that the bill can be put to vote in the Lower House before the congressional recess begins on July 18. Economy Minister Paulo Guedes also said the economy is poised to start growing again, and at a "much faster" pace than the recent past. Brazil's services sector data for June showed that Brazil may have tipped back into recession. On Tuesday the central bank chief had reiterated that economic recovery will be gradual. Most regional stocks market also gained, with Brazil's Bovespa index hovering near all-time high levels, tracking the major U.S. indexes which closed at record highs in a shorter trading day ahead of the Independence Day holiday on Thursday. The rally was spurred by hopes that the Fed would take a more accommodative turn after data on Wednesday showed the U.S. trade deficit jumped to a five-month high while services sector data showed a slowdown in activity. Argentine shares fell 1% after scaling yet another record high earlier in the session. The Merval stock index has been hitting new life highs for the last three sessions. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1930 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1060.61 -0.28 MSCI LatAm 2876.80 1.61 Brazil Bovespa 102013.72 1.4 Mexico IPC 43330.28 -0.26 Chile IPSA 5045.45 0.71 Argentina MerVal 41357.32 -1.04 Colombia IGBC 12645.89 0.7 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 3.8203 0.87 Mexico peso 19.0218 0.15 Chile peso 677.5 0.34 Colombia peso 3194.98 0.33 Peru sol 3.291 0.09 Argentina peso 42.0300 0.40 (interbank) (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru;)