* Barclays latest bank to lower Brazil GDP forecasts * China cuts medium-term rate to ease coronavirus hit * Chile central bank to hold interest rate for at least a year By Shreyashi Sanyal Feb 17 (Reuters) - Stocks in Latin America edged higher on Monday as investor anxiety around the impact of a coronavirus outbreak was soothed by China's stimulus measures, but Brazil's real looked shaky after a gloomy outlook on economic growth. China's central bank cut its medium-term lending rate on Monday, which also fanned expectations for a reduction in the country's benchmark loan prime rate (LPR). The cut helped Chinese stock markets rise while lifting sentiment globally. MSCI's index for Latin American equities rose 0.2%. "The economic impact of the stimulus, however, will struggle in the face of the measures needed to contain the spread of the virus," said Jane Foley, senior FX strategist at Rabobank. As the virus outbreak continued unabated, officials said the total number of cases rose by 2,048 to 70,548 as of Monday. Markets in Latin America have taken a hit from the outbreak in China, which is one of the region's top export destinations. Brazil's real fell against the dollar, as economists at Barclays became the latest bank to have cut their growth forecasts, to say the spillover from disappointing data late last year means growth this year will now be barely above 2%. The real, which was also battered in 2019 by failed oil auctions, is among the worst performing regional currencies against the greenback. In Chile, the peso weakened slightly. The country's central bank will hold its interest rate at 1.75% for at least another year, a poll of 59 traders showed, as policymakers are seen opting for long-term stimulus to ease the economic pain of months of unrest in 2019. In Argentina, analysts said on Friday the country's bond market could take another beating if debt renegotiations take longer than expected. Investors last week digested the government's unilateral postponement of a $1.47 billion payment on its AF20 bond from Thursday until Sept. 30, and comments from economy chief Martin Guzman who warned that a "deep restructuring" was on the way. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1456 GMT Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1107.93 0.15 MSCI LatAm 2788.10 0.15 Brazil Bovespa 115267.72 0.78 Mexico IPC 44981.94 -0.04 Chile IPSA 4630.78 -0.54 Argentina MerVal 38782.26 0.348 Colombia COLCAP 1661.96 -0.15 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 4.3223 -0.53 Mexico peso 18.5654 -0.17 Chile peso 793.2 -0.30 Colombia peso 3397.02 -0.25 Peru sol 3.3818 -0.11 Argentina peso 61.5000 -0.07 (interbank) (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
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