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EMERGING MARKETS-Chile assets cheer new president's moderate Cabinet pick

    * Chile peso rises 0.8%; stocks buck global stocks rout 
    * Brazil's real slips; Lula seen leading in polls
    * Russian assets rise after high-level Moscow-Washington
talks

    By Susan Mathew
    Jan 21 (Reuters) - Chilean markets rallied on Friday as
newly elected President Gabriel Boric picked central bank head
Mario Marcel to head the Finance Ministry, while Brazil's real
fell as presidential election polls showed leftist former
President Lula leading. 
    Chile's peso led gains in the region, up 0.8% to hit
over two-month highs and moving below the 800-a-dollar mark,
while stocks jumped 2%, bucking a global sell-off.
    "We believe that Mario Marcel's appointment as future
minister of finance is definitely good news, as Marcel is
someone with a high credibility who has supported the two
pillars of Chile's macroeconomic framework: the independence of
the central bank, and the structural fiscal rule," said
strategists at Citigroup.
    Boric's other picks for his first Cabinet were also seen as
moderate. The announcements were positive as they show Boric as
a fiscally responsible and pragmatic politician, Citi said.
    Chile's dollar bonds ticked up with the October
2042 bond moving away from their lowest since April
2020. Chile's peso is seen ending over 2% higher for the week in
its fourth straight week in the black. 
    Political news was in focus in Brazil as well. While neither
man has formally declared his candidacy former President Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva is currently leading in polls over his
far-right rival, President Jair Bolsonaro.
    Brazil's real fell up to 1% before retracing losses,
with Friday also being the deadline for Bolsonaro to pass the
2022 budget. 
    Lula drew praise from some investors as he again suggested
he could name moderate Geraldo Alckmin as his running mate, but
analysts say his return could worsen Brazil's budget deficit. 
    Brazil's weakened economy is in danger of sinking deeper
into recession this year as anxiety over elections and as steep
interest rate rises -- by 725 basis points last year -- continue
to hurt growth, a Reuters poll showed.
    Brazil stocks cut losses, but most other Latam
indexes fell as risk assets globally sold off on expectations of
a hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve next week. Colombia's main index
 slumped 1%.
    Elsewhere, Russia's rouble pulled away from 77 versus
the dollar, stocks pared some losses and dollar bonds
extended gains following high-level talks between Moscow and
Washington to discuss soaring tensions over Ukraine. The talks
were described as frank and useful by Washington.

    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1437 GMT:
   Stock indexes            Latest    Daily %
                                      change
 MSCI Emerging Markets       1247.48    -0.66
                                      
 MSCI LatAm                  2249.59     0.02
                                      
 Brazil Bovespa            109154.73     0.05
                                      
 Mexico IPC                        -        -
                                      
 Chile IPSA                  4580.92      2.1
                                      
 Argentina MerVal           84478.31   -0.761
                                      
 Colombia COLCAP             1538.65    -0.57
                                      
                                             
       Currencies           Latest    Daily %
                                      change
 Brazil real                  5.4190    -0.06
                                      
 Mexico peso                 20.4813     0.23
                                      
 Chile peso                    797.6     0.60
                                      
 Colombia peso               3964.76     0.16
 Peru sol                     3.8328    -0.19
                                      
 Argentina peso             104.3600    -0.04
 (interbank)                          
                                      
 
    
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan
Oatis)
  
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