* Barclays latest bank to lower Brazil GDP forecasts * China cuts medium-term rate to ease coronavirus hit * Vale boosted by strong iron ore prices (Updates prices, adds analyst's comment) By Sruthi Shankar Feb 17 (Reuters) - Stocks in Latin America edged higher on Monday, led by Brazil's Bovepsa, following positive corporate updates, while investor anxiety around the impact of a coronavirus outbreak was soothed by China's stimulus measures. China's central bank cut its medium-term lending rate on Monday, ramping up support for the economy and companies that have been hit by a slump in sales and activity because of the coronavirus outbreak. The cut helped Chinese stock markets rise while lifting sentiment globally. MSCI's index for Latin American equities rose 0.2%. Markets in the region have taken a hit from the outbreak in China, which is one of the region's top export destinations. Sao Paulo-listed shares gained 0.9%, with Carrefour Brasil SA rising more than 3% after the retailer agreed to buy 30 stores from smaller rival Makro. Higher iron ore prices helped miner Vale SA gain 4%, while retailer Magazine Luiza SA was up 5% after reporting a jump in net sales and EBITDA in the fourth quarter. Trading was subdued with U.S. markets closed for a public holiday, leaving Latin American currencies mixed. Brazil's real fell against the dollar, with Barclays becoming the latest bank to cut growth forecasts because of the spillover from disappointing data late last year that meant growth this year will now be barely above 2%. U.S. futures markets data showed international speculators increased their bearish bets on the real to a six-week high last week before the central bank intervened in the market to lift the currency from its record low. Citigroup expects the real to strengthen, however, adding that "leveraged buying is a positive sign for a currency and Friday's flows raise the likelihood that the intervention will be successful." Investors also awaited the conclusion of debt talks between the cash-strapped Argentine government and its biggest creditor, the International Monetary Fund, that were expected to set the tone for a massive bond restructuring ahead. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2011 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1107.93 0.15 MSCI LatAm 2789.39 0.19 Brazil Bovespa 115374.96 0.87 Mexico IPC 44978.74 -0.05 Chile IPSA 4631.33 -0.53 Argentina MerVal 39189.33 1.402 Colombia COLCAP 1663.07 -0.08 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 4.3257 -0.67 Mexico peso 18.5555 -0.12 Chile peso 793.1 -0.29 Colombia peso 3395.22 -0.20 Peru sol 3.378 0.00 Argentina peso (interbank) 61.5000 -0.07 (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Peter Cooney)
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