* Brazil, Argentina shut on Christmas Eve * Mexican peso firms a day after falling By Shreyashi Sanyal Dec 24 (Reuters) - Currencies and stocks in Latin America eased on Tuesday, as investors paused ahead of the Christmas holiday break, with skepticism setting in around lasting progress in U.S.-China trade relations. Markets in Brazil and Argentina were closed. Analysts do not expect any significant moves for emerging market currencies and stocks, given the light economic calendar through the week and low trading volumes ahead of the new year. MSCI's index of Latin American currencies edged slightly lower, after building on a rally that has put the index on pace for its best monthly percentage gain this year. A preliminary trade truce between the United States and China earlier in the month has induced investors to increase their exposure to riskier emerging market assets. But some analysts pointed to creeping doubts about how an initial trade deal could work toward finally resolving the nearly two-year long dispute, which has dented global business sentiment. "The fact there is a Phase 1 deal, rather than a comprehensive agreement, combined with the risk that there could be implementation issues, suggests that the positive news is all but certain to dry up," Jane Foley, head of FX strategy at Rabobank, wrote in a note. The Mexican peso firmed, a day after lagging its regional peers as data showed consumer prices in the first half of December slipped well below the central bank's 3% target, raising chances of further monetary easing. Data on Tuesday showed Mexico's economy contracted in October from September in seasonally adjusted terms, making a poor start to the fourth quarter after nine months of stagnation. The Mexican equity market will close at 1800 GMT on Tuesday and will remain shut on Christmas day. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1409 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1109.29 -0.21 MSCI LatAm 2909.23 -0.34 Brazil Bovespa - - Mexico IPC - - Chile IPSA 4722.91 -0.07 Argentina MerVal - - Colombia COLCAP - - Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real - - Mexico peso 18.9426 0.05 Chile peso 750.9 0.45 Colombia peso - - Peru sol 3.3098 0.25 Argentina peso (interbank) - - (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
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