* Chile's peso slides as much as 1% * Mexican cenbank expected to hike by 25bps on Thursday * Petrobras hit by falling oil prices, Vale tracks iron ore lower By Susan Mathew Aug 9 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies fell on Monday as fears of slowing global growth and rising cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus hit commodity prices, with Chile's peso sliding to near 10-month lows. The Chilean peso slid as much as 1% as copper prices slipped on rising risks of a strike at the country's Escondida copper mine - the world's largest - as well as worries about demand from biggest consumer China as it lays down more curbs to combat the spread of the virus. The currency has fallen about 6% since mid-July when the central bank struck a dovish tone after hiking the key interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.75%. However, Credit Suisse analysts expect Chile's interest rate to rise to 1.5% by the end of the year and 3.0% by the end of 2022. The central bank's next meeting is scheduled for the end of the month. Oil prices were also hit by curbs in China, sending crude prices 3% lower. There was a knock-on effect to exporter Colombia's peso, which fell 0.5% to three-month lows. Mexico's peso was little changed after data showed annual inflation slowed to the lowest level in four months in July at 5.81%, but still slightly overshot expectations to remain well above the central bank's target rate, spurring bets that the benchmark interest rate could be hiked for the second meeting in a row. A Reuters poll reflected expectations the interest rate would be hiked by 25 basis points to 4.50% on Thursday. Brazil's real lost 0.7% from political headwinds ahead of general elections next year, sliding iron ore prices and COVID-19 cases now over 20 million. As his popularity tumbles, Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro ignored calls to drop his feud with the Supreme Court on Friday amid rising tensions over his unfounded claims the nation's voting system is vulnerable to fraud. MSCI's index of Latin American stocks slipped 0.6% as Brazilian heavy-weights Petrobras and iron ore miner Vale slipped, tracking oil and iron ore prices, respectively. But most regional stock benchmarks rose, except Mexico's IPC index, which fell for the fourth straight session led by losses in material stocks. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1422 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1293.56 0.08 MSCI LatAm 2475.89 -0.63 Brazil Bovespa 123046.81 0.19 Mexico IPC 51095.69 -0.04 Chile IPSA 4293.82 0.26 Argentina MerVal 65620.62 -0.365 Colombia COLCAP 1227.74 0.09 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.2696 -0.69 Mexico peso 20.0541 -0.15 Chile peso 787.9 -0.05 Colombia peso 3984.32 -0.53 Peru sol 4.0999 -0.42 Argentina peso 96.9900 -0.08 (interbank) (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
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