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EMERGING MARKETS-Latin American assets fall ahead of Powell's Jackson Hole speech

By Agamoni Ghosh

(Updates prices, adds quote) * Brazil assets lead Latam markets lower * Mexico inflation eases in fist half of August * Carrefour Brasil shares slide on corruption probe By Agamoni Ghosh Aug 22 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies and stocks edged lower on Thursday, as investors awaited more clarity on U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy following weak business growth data from major economies. MSCI's index of Latin American stocks and currencies both fell with Brazilian assets leading declines. Equities moves worldwide were muted as weak Purchasing Managers' Indexes from some of the world's largest economies including the United States and Japan, raised doubts over the health of the global economy. Investors are awaiting Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday for signals on the path of interest rates, to set the tone for markets in the short-term. Sao Paulo-traded stocks fell over 1% with shares of Carrefour Brasil sliding over 3% after the retailer said it was the target of a corruption probe. Mexican stocks were marginally higher, while the peso slid 0.6%. Data showed consumer price inflation eased more than expected during the first half of August in Latin America's second-largest economy, which analysts believe could create room for the central bank to further lower borrowing costs. Argentina's stocks slid marginally, while the country's peso shed 0.6% after the central bank did not intervene for the first time in six days to control the currency's fall. Economic activity in June was flat for the economically battered country compared with the year-ago period. Although 2019 growth targets have been revised down for Argentina, risks remain tilted to the downside given the country's sizable funding needs and solvency concerns, along with macro imbalances that remain, said Morgan Stanley analysts in a note. Presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez said on Thursday that Argentina had "no possibility of default" if he were elected in October, but new terms may have to be negotiated with external creditors. The peso shed nearly 18% last week after Fernandez pulled off a major lead over business-friendly President Mauricio Macri in a primary vote, stoking fears of a return to populist policies and battering emerging markets. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1940 GMT Stock indexes daily % change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 974.82 -0.85 MSCI LatAm 2577.92 -1.59 Brazil Bovespa 100147.73 -1.04 Mexico IPC 40155.26 0.2 Chile IPSA 4734.80 -1.04 Argentina MerVal 27970.40 -0.026 Colombia IGBC 12401.20 -0.8 Currencies daily % change Latest Brazil real 4.0738 -1.08 Mexico peso 19.8320 -0.73 Chile peso 713.5 -0.31 Colombia peso 3387.98 -0.11 Peru sol 3.374 0.06 Argentina peso 55.0800 -0.09 (interbank) (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang)