EMERGING MARKETS-Latam assets gain on vaccine news; Peru's sol, Chilean peso lead

    * Chile's peso set for third straight day of gains
    * MSCI Latam stock index hits highest since March 9
    * Peru's sol extends gains after appointment of interim

 (Adds details, updates prices)
    By Shriya Ramakrishnan and Ambar Warrick
    Nov 18 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks jumped to their
highest in more than eight months on Wednesday, driven by
positive news on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, while
Chile's peso gained on encouraging economic growth data. 
    MSCI's index of Latin American stocks rose
as much as 1% to its highest level since March 9, and the
currencies index climbed 0.9% after drugmaker
Pfizer said its COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective and
it would apply for emergency U.S. authorization within days.

    Chile's peso was among the top regional gainers,
strengthening 0.8% against the dollar on support from higher
prices for copper, the country's top export.
    Data released earlier in the day showed Chile's third
quarter gross domestic product contracted compared with a year
earlier, but rose 5.2% versus the second quarter, showing signs
of a slow recovery following the peak of the novel coronavirus
    "We think output will return to its pre-crisis level quicker
(in Chile) than elsewhere in the region, supported by loose
fiscal policy and high copper prices," Nikhil Sanghani, Latin
America economist at Capital Economics wrote in a note.
    "Chile will probably benefit from a vaccine quicker than
others in the region as it has already made significant purchase
    Optimism over a vaccine has benefited regional risk assets
over the past week, with Latam stocks outperforming their
emerging markets peers on hopes of a relatively quicker economic
    The MSCI's index of emerging market stocks rose
0.5% for the day.
    Peru's sol extended gains a day after recording its
largest daily jump in more than seven months, following the
appointment of Francisco Sagasti as interim president.
    "Sagasti's track record as a centrist and a technocrat, as
well as his strong support in Congress, bodes well for
containing the political turmoil in the near-term," analysts at
Credit Suisse said in a note. 
    The Peruvian government also enacted a reform to citizen
pension withdrawals in order to ease the economic impact of the
    Brazil's real advanced 0.1%, putting it on course for
a third straight day of gains.
    The central bank said it will intervene to protect the real
if the foreign exchange market is unable to absorb the "large"
outflow of reais expected by the end of the year as local banks
unwind their so-called overhedge position.
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
                              Latest     Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1207.56              0.51
 MSCI LatAm                    2189.24              0.48
 Brazil Bovespa              107024.08             -0.21
 Mexico IPC                   42396.40              1.07
 Chile IPSA                    4109.19              1.37
 Argentina MerVal             51755.02            -0.301
 Colombia COLCAP               1238.24              0.61 Currencies             Latest     Daily % change
 Brazil real                    5.3260              0.12
 Mexico peso                   20.2396              0.33
 Chile peso                      757.3              0.75
 Colombia peso                  3641.5              0.03
 Peru sol                       3.5697              0.90
 Argentina peso                80.1500             -0.14

 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; editing by
Barbara Lewis and Grant McCool)