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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies slide, Mexican peso down for third straight day

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* Mexican peso down half a percent * Mexico seeks natural gas supply guarantee after Texasexport ban * Brazil's real dips on full day of trading after longweekend By Susan Mathew Feb 18 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies weakened onThursday, even as the dollar slid, as an unexpected rise in U.S.weekly jobless claims raised doubts about the pace of recoveryin the world's biggest economy. Brazil's real fell on its first day of full tradingafter an extended weekend, extending losses after a slide onWednesday when it traded half day. Chile's peso was flat after hitting a six-week peakwhen it tracked copper prices hitting a nine-year high. Chile isthe world's top producer of the red metal. The U.S. Labor Department's report showed initial claims forstate unemployment benefits were 861,000 last week, comparedwith 848,000 in the prior week. This put a dent in hopes of aquick global economic recovery from a pandemic-induced slump. Higher oil prices limited losses in crude exporterColombia's currency, while Mexico's peso slipped0.5%, extending losses to a third straight day. Data on Thursdayshowed net foreign direct investment in the country fell by11.7% in 2020. The Mexican government pressed for natural gas suppliesafter the U.S. state of Texas implemented a ban on exports.Supply from Texas was interrupted by the freeze earlier thisweek, leaving millions without power and causing an estimated$2.7 billion in losses. "In addition to concerns about an unusually strong winter insome parts of the country and its effect on the economicrecovery process, the debate about as to whether and if so towhat extent monetary policy will be eased further will beaffecting the peso most," said Elisabeth Andreae, FX analyst atCommerzbank. "Following the appointment of a new board member theuncertainty about this matter is particularly high, as it isunclear to what extent Banxico will deviate from its currentcourse." Stocks in the country inched higher with a 7% jumpin iron ore prices boosting miner Vale, while oilprices buoyed oil major Petrobras. Shares in Carrefour Brasil jumped after it saidit is "optimistic" about margins and as its French parent posted solid full-year results and announced furthercost cutting and cash flow targets. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1425.83 -1.32 MSCI LatAm 2404.31 -0.48 Brazil Bovespa 120259.89 -0.08 Mexico IPC - - Chile IPSA 4515.68 -0.95 Argentina MerVal 52803.03 0.795 Colombia COLCAP 1364.56 -0.13 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.4287 -0.26 Mexico peso 20.3270 -0.59 Chile peso 713.2 0.00 Colombia peso 3531.85 -0.17 Peru sol 3.6467 0.11 Argentina peso 89.0400 -0.10 (interbank) (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by AndreaRicci)