* Rouble volatile as traders eye war, coupon payments * Brazil cuts 2022 growth forecast, hikes inflation outlook * Argentina Senate to debate $45 billion IMF deal (Adds comment; updates details) By Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Anisha Sircar March 17 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks edged higher on Thursday as risk appetite ticked up on easing fears around China's spluttering economy, while Brazil's real extended gains a day after the country's central bank hiked interest rates. MSCI's Latin American stocks index gained 2.9%, joining broader emerging market peers, as China, a key trade partner with Latin America, signaled more stimulus. Brazil's real gained 0.8% against the dollar, a day after the Brazilian central bank increased its key interest rate by 100 basis points and hinted at another hike of the same magnitude in May. "The aggressive hiking cycle will have an impact on growth and you're going into an election year, so you may see populist policies coming in. And if there is something that Brazil cannot afford, it is more aggressive fiscal spending," said Jakob Christensen, chief analyst and head of emerging market research at Danske Bank. Brazil's economy ministry trimmed its 2022 gross domestic product growth forecast and raised its inflation outlook, as Latin America's largest economy grapples with higher food and fuel prices and higher borrowing costs. Argentina's battered peso dipped 0.1% ahead of a debate in its Senate over a $45 billion debt deal with the International Monetary Fund that, if allowed to proceed, would help the country avoid a messy default. "The market is being quite realistic at understanding that this program is IMF buying time until the next presidential election at the end of 2023," said Marcos Casarin, chief Latin America economist at Oxford Economics. "Argentina has a very strong bargaining power with the IMF because it knows that half of the IMF balance sheet is with Argentina's debt and so it has negotiated pretty much non-existent fiscal rules." The Mexican and Colombian pesos rose 0.6% and 0.3%, respectively, while the Chilean peso fell 0.2%. Elsewhere, Turkey's lira dropped 0.4% after its central bank held the key interest rate steady. The Russian rouble rose in Moscow, while two market sources told Reuters some creditors have received payment, in dollars, of Russian bond coupons which fell due this week. Russia laid down strict new rules for foreigners seeking permits to buy and sell Russian assets ranging from securities to real estate, a client memo by Citigroup showed. After a sharp emergency rate hike in late February, Russia's central bank is expected to hold its key interest rate unchanged at 20% on Friday. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2012 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1122.00 3.79 MSCI LatAm 2443.95 3 Brazil Bovespa 112978.49 1.68 Mexico IPC 54243.45 1.56 Chile IPSA 4790.24 2.02 Argentina MerVal 89449.12 2.285 Colombia IGBC 1542.46 0.94 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.0330 1.15 Mexico peso 20.5070 0.61 Chile peso 799.4 -0.29 Colombia peso 3821.01 0.26 Peru sol 3.75 -0.83 Argentina peso (interbank) 109.5100 -0.08 Argentina peso (parallel) 199 1.51 (Reporting by Anisha Sircar, Susan Mathew, Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Paul Simao)
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