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EMERGING MARKETS-Mexican peso gains as delay reported in contentious central bank bill

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* Mexico's lawmakers postpone disputed central bank bill - report * U.S. stimulus hopes weaken U.S. dollar * Brazil's V-shaped recovery to lose steam -central bank (Adds comment, details, updates prices) By Medha Singh Dec 15 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso broke a key 20 per dollar barrier on Tuesday after a report lawmakers had agreed to delay debating a divisive new law that critics say would force Mexico's central bank to absorb money from drug gangs. The peso firmed 1.7% at 19.93 after a four-day slide as two congressional sources said discussions on the bill on foreign exchange had been pushed to February. Ratings agency Moody's warned the proposed law would be credit negative for the sovereign as it would undermine Banxico's autonomy and increase the risks of money laundering. The peso pulled back from a recent nine-month high as Mexico's Senate last week backed the law, drawing a stern rebuke from Banxico, business groups and economists. Adding support to the peso, debt-laden state oil firm Pemex said it will cover 95.6 billion pesos (about $ 4.85 billion) in short-term financial liabilities following a recent monetization of old bonds. The market focus will be on a Banxico meeting on Thursday where policymakers are expected to keep the benchmark interest rate steady at 4.25%. "MXN performance has supported Banxico's easing stance, and the currency remains in the upper echelons of the EM yield complex," strategists at TD Securities said. "Continued stability should keep the door open to the prospect of further easing in 2021." The Brazilian real and the Colombian and the Chilean pesos all advanced against the dollar as progress toward a massive U.S. government stimulus bill supported risk appetite. Minutes of Brazil's latest central bank meeting showed policymakers see inflation staying high in December due to temporary shocks to Latin America's largest economy. The real rallied to a six-month high last week as policymakers said they could "soon" drop a pledge to keep rates lower for longer amid a spike in inflation. "We expect the start of a hiking cycle in the fourth quarter of 2021," economists at Morgan Stanley said in a note. Meanwhile, credit rating agency Fitch Ratings revised the outlook for Peru's economy to "negative" from "stable" following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and political upheaval. Still, the firm maintained Peru's sovereign debt profile at 'BBB +'. The Peruvian sol edged 0.1% higher. Latin American stocks jumped to a nine-month high with Sao Paolo-traded shares erasing all of their losses for 2020. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies: Stock indexes daily % change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 1250.80 0.03 MSCI LatAm 2426.98 1.71 Brazil Bovespa 116070.21 1.27 Mexico IPC 43692.44 0.28 Chile IPSA 4061.66 0.22 Argentina MerVal 53396.65 0.684 Colombia COLCAP 1403.28 1.01 Currencies daily % change Latest Brazil real 5.0855 -0.02 Mexico peso 19.9099 1.66 Chile peso 735.9 -0.11 Colombia peso 3417.2 0.24 Peru sol 3.5847 0.08 Argentina peso (interbank) 82.5300 -0.08 (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown)