* Mexican peso at strongest level since May 2019 * Latam FX index set to snap 5-day losing streak * Investors await statement from Trump By Shreyashi Sanyal Jan 8 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies rebounded on Wednesday as investors warmed to riskier assets in the absence of a fresh escalation in tensions between the United States and Iran, while the Mexican peso touched an eight-month high. Markets around the globe were jolted by Iran's missile attack on U.S.-led forces in Iraq, in retaliation against the killing of an Iranian commander in a U.S. air strike late last week. Tensions in the Middle East pushed investors away from riskier assets in Latin America and boosted demand for perceived safe-haven assets such as gold and the Japanese yen. Trump said casualties and damage from the missile attacks were being assessed. The White House said the president would make a statement at 11 a.m. (1600 GMT). "As long as the U.S. does not respond to Iran's most direct attack.... tensions should gradually ease and appetite for risk should improve," said Piotr Matys, senior emerging markets FX strategist at Rabobank. "However, it is still too early to declare with a high degree of confidence that the conflict is over. Investors will be hoping that President Trump refrains from making inflammatory comments when he speaks later today." MSCI's index for Latin American currencies rose 0.4%, on track to log its first rise in six sessions. The Mexican peso rose 0.5% to 18.7860 against the dollar, strengthening to its highest level since early May 2019. Market participants seemingly shrugged off data which showed Mexican auto exports posted their first decline in a decade last year. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that he expects foreign investment to increase as the U.S. Senate is set to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1428 GMT: Stock Latest Daily % indexes change MSCI Emerging Markets 1111.02 -0.43 MSCI LatAm 2919.89 0.08 Brazil Bovespa 116143.63 -0.44 Mexico IPC - - Chile IPSA 4913.71 0.01 Argentina MerVal 41057.82 -0.141 Colombia COLCAP 1663.83 0 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 4.0689 -0.12 Mexico peso 18.8120 0.46 Chile peso 768.66 0.02 Colombia peso 3259.36 0.05 Peru sol 3.3168 0.13 Argentina peso (interbank) 59.8150 0.00 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; editing by Nick Macfie)
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