* Mexican peso falls as much as 2.7% * Brazil's real hits new low of 4.67 per dollar * Argentina central bank cuts benchmark rate to 38% * Colombia's peso touches record low as oil tumbles (Adds comment, updates prices) By Shreyashi Sanyal and Susan Mathew March 6 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso slipped to a one-year low on Friday on bets of a steeper interest rate cut, while most other Latin American currencies followed suit as surging coronavirus cases left daunting prospects for global growth. A Citibanamex survey sees Bank of Mexico cutting its key interest rate by 50 basis points at its monetary policy meeting in late March, 25 basis points more than a forecast two weeks ago, following the U.S. Federal Reserve's surprise rate cut. The currency of Latin America's no. 2 economy slid as much as 2.7% to 20.38 against the dollar. "With the recent trend in energy prices not really being supportive, I would expect it (Mexican peso) to be under pressure in the coming weeks," said Cameron Brandt, director of research at EPFR in Boston. In an emergency move, the Fed cut interest rates on Tuesday to help the U.S. economy combat the fallout from the fast-spreading virus which has infected more than 100,000 people globally and caused over 3,400 deaths, forcing suspension of a worrying amount of economic activity. "It's complicated to assess if the central bank moves are the best response because Latam economies have little room to provide fiscal stimulus," said Wilson Ferrarezi, an analyst with TS Lombard in Brazil. Brazil's real slid as much as 1.4% to new lows of 4.67 per dollar, taking no solace from a dollar in the doldrums. Brazil confirmed its eighth coronavirus case on Thursday, including the first instances of likely local transmission, strengthening speculation of a interest rate cut to a record low. "The key thing to monitor in Brazil is how the central bank will gauge the net effect of lower domestic growth given this complicated external scenario, and the eventual effect of the weaker currency on Brazilian inflation," said TS Lombard's Ferrarezi. "It's hard to make any measurements because rates have never been so low and the real so weak at the same time." This is the currency's fourth straight session of marking fresh all-time lows, putting it on course for a weekly loss of nearly 4%. Late on Thursday, Argentina's central bank cut its benchmark rate to 38% from 40% in its eighth cut since December aimed to help revive the economy seen as vital to avoid defaulting on its debts. OIL SLIDES Elsewhere in the emerging market universe, the rouble tumbled after Russia said it will not back an OPEC call for extra oil output cuts. Moscow-listed stocks sank 3.5%. That sent oil prices sliding 8%, which pushed crude exporter Colombia's peso to all-time lows. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1919 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1010.53 -2.77 MSCI LatAm 2284.43 -3.79 Brazil Bovespa 98126.62 -4.02 Mexico IPC 41458.31 -2.09 Chile IPSA 4228.82 -2.2 Argentina MerVal 35458.84 -3.572 Colombia COLCAP 1513.60 -2.14 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 4.6300 0.44 Mexico peso 20.1246 -1.39 Chile peso 826.2 -0.36 Colombia peso 3586.11 -1.40 Peru sol 3.4698 -0.32 Argentina peso (interbank) 62.4775 -0.09 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal, Medha Singh and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Diane Craft)
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