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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks fall, Argentina's peso hits record low

By Aaron Saldanha April 25 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks fell across the board on Thursday, mirroring the concerns about slowing world growth that affected markets globally, while a firm dollar left Latin American currencies bruised, with Argentina's peso diving to a record low.

Currencies in Latin American lost ground against the dollar, which at one point reached its highest level since May 2017, fueled by upbeat data on new orders for U.S.-made capital goods.

MSCI's index of Latin American stocks fell 0.4%, on the back of losses across the region.

Investors jettisoning risky bets sent Argentina's stocks 3.6% lower, with financials falling especially heavily, while the peso slumped 5.3% to a record low.

Dirk Willer, head of emerging market strategy at Citi Research, and Kenneth Lam, an emerging markets FX strategist, noted the "significant pressure" on Argentine assets, observing yawning credit default swap spreads and political uncertainty from elections scheduled for later this year.

"A weaker currency and sticky inflation will continue to undermine (President Mauricio) Macri's candidacy. Needless to say that markets see the outcome of the elections as binary, with a return of the old administration potentially amounting to an eventual default." Brazilian stocks dropped 0.1%, as shares of financials and materials fell.

Shares of miner Vale SA declined 1.1%, with a 1% slide seen in Dalian-traded iron ore futures overnight.

State-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) was an outlier, with its common shares and preferred shares rising 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively.

The company's board approved a voluntary employee retirement program intended to save 3 billion reais ($754 million) over five years.

The cheer was capped by news that Petrobras will record a 1.3 billion-real ($326 million) provision in its first-quarter results because of a dispute with a bankrupt rig lessor.

Mexican stocks fell 0.5% mainly on losses among materials and consumer staples, while the peso softened 0.2%.

First quarter profit at Cemex SAB de CV doubled but still fell short of analysts' expectations. The cement maker's shares slid 1.5%.

Chile's peso fell 0.6%, tracking a drop in the price of copper, the country's top export. Stocks fell 0.8%.

Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1426 GMT Stock indexes daily % Latest change MSCI Emerging Markets 1074.01 -0.97 MSCI LatAm 2722.55 -0.44 Brazil Bovespa 94917.74 -0.13 Mexico IPC 44819.55 -0.5 Chile IPSA 5158.78 -0.82 Argentina MerVal 28672.81 -3.61 Colombia IGBC 12950.78 -0.25 Currencies daily % change Latest Brazil real 3.9608 0.63 Mexico peso 19.0600 0.04 Chile peso 677 -0.62 Colombia peso 3234.64 -0.48 Peru sol 3.331 -0.24 Argentina peso (interbank) 46.2500 -4.91 ($1 = 3.9769 reais) (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru)