Feb 20 (Reuters) – Most Latin American currencies slipped and stock markets edged higher on Monday, with market holidays in the United States and Brazil making for a quiet session. The Mexican peso slipped 0.3% to 18.40 versus dollar after hitting a near five-year high of 18.32 in the previous session. Investors will focus on the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Mexico’s February meeting this week for clues on the path of monetary policy tightening. Recent economic data has highlighted strength in the U.S. economy but also persistent price pressures, raising worries among traders that the Fed will hike interest rates for longer and boosting the dollar. However, the Mexican peso has held resilient after a stronger-than-expected 50 basis points rate hike by Banxico earlier this month suggested more rate hikes were on the cards. The minutes of the February meeting are due on Thursday. “We expect the central bank to continue hiking in the following meetings, with two more 25 bps hikes in March and May, taking the rate to a terminal level of 11.50%. Nevertheless, we believe risks to our forecast are tilted to the upside,” analysts at Banorte Research said in a recent note. Mexico’s main IPC index edged 0.4% higher, along with those in Chile and Colombia. With U.S. markets closed for Presidents’ Day and a public holiday in Brazil and Argentina, trading volumes were thin across the board. Copper producer Chile’s peso dropped 0.6% but hovered near 10-month highs hit earlier this month as hopes of economic rebound in the world’s top metal consumer, China, boosted copper prices. The Colombian peso slipped 0.4%. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1004.87 0.55 MSCI LatAm 2265.23 0.51 Mexico IPC 53986.05 0.37 Chile IPSA 5342.75 0.26 Colombia COLCAP 1212.02 0.18 Currencies Latest Daily % change Mexico peso 18.3964 -0.25 Chile peso 794.2 -0.62 Colombia peso 4917.02 -0.36 Peru sol 3.829 0.10 (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru Editing by Marguerita Choy)


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