Chile central bank head takes dovish tone in speech

(Adds details and context throughout; adds quote) SANTIAGO, March 7 (Reuters) - Chile central bank head Mario Marcel forecast subdued first quarter growth and said a "more expansive" monetary policy is necessary to meet inflation targets, according to a transcript of remarks he delivered to a think tank in Santiago on Tuesday. In a generally dovish speech, Marcel said economic growth figures in February and the first quarter as a whole <CLGDQQ=ECI> will be affected by an ongoing strike at BHP Billiton's <BLT.L><BHP.AX> Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world's largest. He added that growth in the first quarter "will not be better" than fourth quarter 2016 figures, and that recent evolutions in the Chilean economy will affect the bank's next official growth projections, scheduled for release later in March. A more expansive monetary policy would be needed to reach the bank's 3 percent...