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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks rise on U.S.-China trade hopes; Brazil index at record high

By Ambar Warrick

* Brazil stocks up as much as 0.8% * Chilean assets rise ahead of C.bank decision, rate cut likely * Chile rate cut to be close call- Analyst * Mexican, Colombian pesos up on strong oil prices By Ambar Warrick Dec 4 (Reuters) - Latin American stock markets rose on Wednesday as U.S. President Donald Trump voiced more optimism than he did a day earlier about trade talks with China, and Brazilian equities mounted a record high, with an investment manager telling a Reuters forum the country was his top regional investment pick. Trump said that trade talks with China were going "very well." On Tuesday, he had flagged a possible delay in reaching a deal. A basket of Latin American stocks rose to a more than one-week high, pushed up mainly by a jump in Brazilian equities. Luiz Ribeiro, manager of the Latin America Equity Fund at asset manager DWS Group, said the region was poised for growth to rebound to nearly 2% in 2020 after years of underperformance. Ribeiro, who oversees $630 million in assets, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum that Brazil was his top investment pick in the region. Financials and energy stocks, which got a boost from stronger oil prices, were the best performers on the Bovespa. Industrial production in Brazil rose 0.8% in October, official figures showed, the third month in a row of growth after a steep decline. Data also showed overall business activity in the country remained unchanged in November from the prior month. Chilean stocks bounced back from a near three-week low touched on Tuesday. The Chilean peso also rose, supported by stronger prices for top export copper. Early this week, the Chilean central bank launched a large intervention program to support the floundering peso. Investors awaited an interest rate decision from Chile's central bank, scheduled for later in the day. A Reuters poll expects a cut, although analysts say it could be a close call. "We've penciled in a cut, but are less confident about (a cut) than were a few days ago," said William Jackson, chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics. "The pace of the fall in the peso over the past few days started to worry policymakers... We saw the start of the quite large intervention program, which suggested they thought the currency may have overshot it, and they're trying to push back against that." An index of Latin American currencies rose about 0.2%, with the dollar also retreating after data showed U.S. private-sector job growth unexpectedly slowed to its weakest pace in six months in November. The currencies of oil exporters Mexico and Colombia also rose on stronger prices. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1437 GMT Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1037.60 0.02 MSCI LatAm 2688.63 0.87 Brazil Bovespa 109635.12 0.62 Mexico IPC - - Chile IPSA 4505.74 0.29 Argentina MerVal 33225.91 1.432 Colombia COLCAP 1591.09 0.07 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 4.1901 0.36 Mexico peso 19.4978 0.26 Chile peso 795.15 0.94 Colombia peso 3475.5 0.70 Peru sol 3.383 0.18 Argentina peso 59.8900 0.05 (interbank) (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio)