* Brazil's privatization secretary resigns * Do not expect Brazil real to recover until next year - analyst * Mexican central bank policy decision awaited on Thursday * Colombia peso slips as country tops 400,000 coronavirus cases (Updates prices) By Shreyashi Sanyal and Susan Mathew Aug 12 (Reuters) - Brazil's real fell on Wednesday, weighed by political uncertainty, while currencies of Mexico and Chile firmed as the dollar weakened on a stalemate over U.S. coronavirus relief aid. The real slumped 0.7%. Economy Minister Paulo Guedes on Tuesday said Brazil's privatization secretary, Salim Mattar, had stepped down, unhappy with the slow pace of privatizations so far. Guedes also announced the resignation of the secretary for de-bureaucratization, Paulo Uebel. That brought the number of Guedes' secretaries who have left the government in recent months to four. Last week Guedes had announced that Brazil would announce three or four large privatizations within the next 30-60 days. Data showed Brazil's retail sales ended the first half of the year on a strong footing, surging back to pre-crisis levels as the easing of lockdown measures continued. Investors have cheered signs of a recent pick-up in economic activity in Latin America's biggest economy but are now cautious on the real amid surging COVID-19 cases, a dovish central bank and worsening ties between the United States and China. "We do not expect the BRL to recover until next year, when the crisis has subsided and the markets price out the corona risk," said FX analysts at Commerzbank. Coronavirus cases continued to climb in South America, with Colombia topping 400,000 confirmed cases on Tuesday, as deaths climb toward 13,500. The Colombian peso fell 0.3% against the dollar. The dollar slid as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the White House and top Democrats may not be able to reach a deal on coronavirus aid, in a fifth day without talks. The Mexican peso rose 0.4%. Investors await a central bank policy decision on Thursday with a 50 basis point cut in its key lending rate priced in. Chile's currency firmed as the country's plans to cautiously lift its lockdown on Santiago's central business district and adjoining Central Station on Monday. Among stocks indexes, Argentina's Merval sank 3.5% to post its worst day in six weeks, while Brazil's Bovespa slid 0.7%. Argentina will formally submit its amended debt restructuring offer to the U.S. securities regulator as early as Thursday, two sources said, after an initial agreement was reached with creditors earlier this month to restructure around $65 billion in foreign debt. Most other regional stock indexes were flat to higher. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1919 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1094.31 0.28 MSCI LatAm 1996.08 -0.69 Brazil Bovespa 101459.00 -0.7 Mexico IPC 38707.48 0.01 Chile IPSA 4031.14 0.77 Argentina MerVal 49207.11 -3.513 Colombia COLCAP 1139.21 0.42 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.4497 -0.66 Mexico peso 22.3398 0.21 Chile peso 792.5 0.00 Colombia peso 3755 -0.62 Peru sol 3.5658 -0.17 Argentina peso 73.0400 -0.05 (interbank) (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Leslie Adler)
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