* Chilean peso leads gains, Peru’s sol lags * Brazil’s Bovespa drops after reopening amid thin liquidity * Argentina inflation slows in January * FX up 0.1%, stocks slip 0.1% (Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET/1930 GMT) By Shashwat Chauhan and Lisa Pauline Mattackal Feb 14 (Reuters) – Latin American currencies were steady against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday a day after hotter-than-expected U.S. inflation data cut expectations for interest rate cuts, while Brazilian stocks tumbled upon reopening from a two-day holiday. MSCI’s gauge for Latin American currencies edged up 0.1% against the dollar, after falling around 0.3% in the previous session as the dollar index slipped. “The risk tone is in better shape today, but looking mostly like a trimming of losses rather than reflecting a clear improvement in sentiment,” Juan Manuel Herrera, senior economist at Scotiabank Economics, said in a note. Data on Tuesday showed U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in January, pushing traders to scale back expectations of rate cuts from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Higher crude oil prices helped lift the Mexican peso , which added 0.4% against the dollar, picking up off one-week lows touched Tuesday. Brazil’s Bovespa index dropped 1% upon reopening after a two-day holiday, led down by financial stocks. Trading volumes remained low as trading opened later in the day due to Ash Wednesday. Oil prices also helped lift Colombia’s peso, which gained 0.2%. Separately, data showed Colombia’s imports fell 8.13% in December, while December retail sales fell by 4.7%. The currency of Chile, the world’s biggest copper producer, leapt 1.2% to 956.2 against the dollar in its best day since mid-December. Peru’s sol dipped 0.1%, after President Dina Boluarte named replacements on Tuesday for several key cabinet members, including a new economy chief and energy and mining minister with both set to face a fragile economy. “The appointment of Mr. Arista as a Finance Minister, who not only espouses business-friendly views but also has some political influence of his own to steer the government’s agenda in congress, may be perceived as a market-positive event,” Santiago Tellez, a Goldman Sachs economist, said. Argentina stocks dropped 2.4%. The country reported a January inflation rate of 20.6%, slowing from December. Mexican stocks rose 0.3% after falling nearly 1% on Tuesday, while Chilean shares advanced 1%. Walmex shares dipped 0.1% as investors awaited quarterly results from the retail giant after markets close on Wednesday. Shares of Mexico’s telecommunications giant America Movil rose 2.3% after the company said it expects to trim 2024 capital expenditure. MSCI’s basket of Latin American stocks fell 0.1%. Elsewhere, Ghana’s bond prices fell as finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta was replaced, as the country seeks to restructure its debt and recover from economic crisis. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1930 GMT: Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 998.78 0.2 MSCI LatAm 2521.65 -0.12 Brazil Bovespa 126892.31 -0.89 Mexico IPC 57103.24 0.34 Chile IPSA 6085.23 1.01 Argentina MerVal 1101086.65 -2.43 Colombia COLCAP 1234.67 -0.1 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 4.9677 -0.18 Mexico peso 17.1009 0.43 Chile peso 956.2 1.34 Colombia peso 3916.36 0.22 Peru sol 3.8627 -0.06 Argentina peso 833.9000 -0.30 (interbank) Argentina peso 1085 5.53 (parallel) (Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan and Lisa Mattackal in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Leslie Adler)

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