Market-Friendly Candidate Plunges in Brazil Race, Poll Shows

(Bloomberg) -- The leading market-friendly candidate in Brazil’s presidential race this year plummeted while a leftist contender rose, according to an opinion poll published on Monday. The real lost against the U.S. dollar.

Former Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin, who is one of the investor favorites, dropped to 5.3 percent support from 8.6 percent in March, according to a survey carried out by polling firm MDA. At the same time former Ceara Governor Ciro Gomes, who has pledged to expropriate oil fields, rose to 9 percent from 8.1 percent.

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Investors are increasingly on edge with less than five months left before elections in Latin America’s largest economy and little clarity on whether or not the next president will continue with market-friendly reforms. The real reversed gains to lose 0.36 percent against the dollar after the poll was released.

The MDA poll is the first after former Supreme Court Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa’s decision to bow out of the contest, a move which prompted differing views on which of the dozen or so other contenders will end up benefiting from his departure.

The survey of 2,002 people was carried out on May 9-12 in 137 municipalities around the country. It has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points more or less.

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