By Agamoni Ghosh Jan 25 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies advanced against a weak dollar on Friday with Mexico's peso eyeing a ninth-straight week of gains, while stocks in Chile were set to end lower for the first time in five weeks. The Mexican peso climbed about half a percent, a day after data showed that inflation for the first half of January rose at a milder pace than forecast, despite gasoline shortages suffered in many parts of the country amid a government crackdown on fuel theft. The cooler inflation data also pointed to the central bank standing pat on rates at the next meeting. "The lower inflation is obviously helpful for rates, while other factors are in favor of front-end rates ... externally a more dovish Fed also helps," Citi analysts said in a note. Chile's peso gained more than 0.8 percent on the day and was set to end the week higher. Chile's central bank is expected to increase its benchmark interest rate to 3 percent from 2.75 percent at its policy meeting next week, according to a monthly poll of 61 traders published by the bank on Friday. Meanwhile, stocks on the IPSA index in Chile were flat on the day but set to end the week lower with Latam Airlines emerging as the biggest loser for the week. Market participants also watched developments in crisis-stricken Venezuela where opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday in a bid to push out socialist Nicolas Maduro, the country's leader since 2013. The United States, more than a dozen Latin American countries, Canada and the United Kingdom have backed Guaido. However, Russia, which has been a long-standing ally of Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez, condemned foreign support for Guaido, saying it violates international law and is a "direct path to bloodshed." China, Mexico and Turkey also back Maduro. Stock markets in Brazil were shut on Friday for Sao Paulo Anniversary Day. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1400 GMT Stock indexes daily % Latest change MSCI Emerging Markets 1030.55 1.09 MSCI LatAm 2875.11 -0.06 Brazil Bovespa - - Mexico IPC - - Chile IPSA 5421.93 0.03 Argentina MerVal - - Colombia IGBC - - Currencies daily % Latest change Brazil real - - Mexico peso 18.8875 0.59 Chile peso 666 0.84 Colombia peso - - Peru sol - - Argentina peso (interbank) - - (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru Editing by Bill Trott)
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