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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX attempt comeback, Colombian peso eyes best day in 7 months

By Susan Mathew and Shreyashi Sanyal

* Colombian peso gains as oil prices surge * Brazil 2020 growth, FX outlook slip to new lows - cenbank survey * Brazil confirms second coronavirus case, Mexico its fifth * U.S. dollar slips to one-month low (Updates prices, adds comments) By Susan Mathew and Shreyashi Sanyal March 2 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies gained on the back of a weaker dollar on Monday, on rising bets for monetary easing from the U.S. Federal Reserve, while Colombia's peso jumped as prices of oil, the country's main export, surged. The dollar slipped to a one-month low as traders bet the Fed will deliver an interest rate cut when it meets on March 17-18, and as an encouragement to central banks around the world to follow suit. "The dollar will remain vulnerable in the short term, as the Fed will protect the stability of the financial system and will be forced to cut rates aggressively," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York. MSCI's index for Latin American currencies rose 1%. The Colombian peso gained 1.94% against the greenback, and was set for its best day in nearly seven months as crude prices jumped over 5% on hopes of a deeper cut in output by OPEC. However, Brazil's real hovered near all-time lows hit in the last session as worries over the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak increased as the number of cases in both countries rose over the weekend. Brazil reported its second case of the virus on Saturday, while in Mexico, a fifth case was confirmed. Amid a report that Brazil's government is set to slash its 2020 growth forecast sometime this week, a central bank survey of economists showed the 2020 outlook for Brazil's economic growth, inflation and exchange rate slipping to new lows. Mexico's peso reversed earlier losses to eke out gains. A private survey showed the health of Mexico's manufacturing sector improved slightly in February, following three straight months of deterioration, as production and exports grew. A virus-fueled rout intensified last week when the pace of its spread heightened fears of a pandemic and a likely subsequent global recession, wiping almost $6 trillion from world stocks. In emerging markets, portfolio managers pulled $9.7 billion out in February on fears over the virus, preliminary data from the Institute of International Finance showed on Monday. Regionally, Brazil stocks rose 1.7% led by a 17% jump in Hypera Pharma after it said it signed a contract to buy a portfolio of 18 pharmaceutical products from Japan's Takeda for $825 million. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1942 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1016.51 1.09 MSCI LatAm 2471.43 2.47 Brazil Bovespa 105739.76 1.51 Mexico IPC 42076.40 1.82 Chile IPSA 4283.63 3.91 Argentina MerVal 36370.06 3.994 Colombia COLCAP 1544.13 -0.35 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 4.4873 -0.16 Mexico peso 19.5550 0.29 Chile peso 812.6 1.05 Colombia peso 3460 1.82 Peru sol 3.441 0.35 Argentina peso (interbank) 62.2500 -0.06 (Reporting by Susan Mathew and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Alistair Bell and Jonathan Oatis)