* Brazil real, Chile peso add nearly half a percent * Improving global outlook spurs demand for Latam assets * MSCI index of Latam stocks hits highest level since July * Brazil meatpacker Marfrig slides after share offering By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick Dec 18 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies rose to a six-week high on Wednesday, led by the Brazilian real and Chilean peso, as a broader improvement in global sentiment powered demand for riskier assets ahead of the Christmas holiday period. Brazil's real firmed nearly half a percent after sliding in the previous session. The currency has taken a beating this year, due in part to a failed oil auction that prompted a prolonged intervention by the central bank. The Chilean peso rose for the sixth day in a row, recovering from a steep fall in November sparked by violent anti-government protests. But despite rising nearly 7% this month, the currency is still off about 5% from Oct. 21. "Global markets have calmed down and sentiment is generally more friendly towards emerging market currencies, which is reflected particularly in Latam currencies," said Thu Lan Nguyen, FX strategist with Commerzbank. Investors have bought back into emerging market assets in December after an initial U.S.-China trade deal appeared to lift some of the global economic uncertainty and a slate of upbeat data eased recession fears. Yet, an almost certain impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump and a hard line on Brexit negotiations by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are keeping a global rally in check. An index of Latin American currencies rose about 0.3% to its highest level since Nov. 6, while its counterpart tracking stocks hit a four-and-a-half-month high. Among country indexes, Brazilian shares extended gains after a hitting a record closing high on Tuesday. Congress approved the federal government's budget for next year, based on projected economic growth of 2.32%, with the bill now passing to President Jair Bolsonaro for final approval. Capping gains on the index, Brazilian meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods SA tumbled 5% after the conclusion of a share offering on Tuesday. Argentina's MerVal gained about 1.4%, after declining in the previous session as the country's new government unveiled higher taxes on agricultural exports and new taxes on foreign assets held abroad. Chilean equities lost about 0.7%, while Mexican and Peruvian stocks were trading flat. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1456 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1107.53 0.45 MSCI LatAm 2879.71 0.58 Brazil Bovespa 113072.79 0.41 Mexico IPC 44432.55 0.07 Chile SPIPSA 4780.75 -0.7 Argentina MerVal 37441.59 1.416 Colombia Colcap 1620.97 -0.25 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 4.0525 0.27 Mexico peso 18.9428 -0.09 Chile peso 752.05 0.50 Colombia peso 3331.26 0.27 Peru sol 3.3358 0.10 Argentina peso (interbank) 59.8150 - (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru Editing by Alistair Bell)
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