Castillo Halts Fujimori’s Advance in Latest Peru Runoff Poll

Peru’s Pedro Castillo consolidated his lead in a new election poll released on Friday over Keiko Fujimori as the left wing educator looks to secure the presidency in a runoff on June 6.

In a vote simulation done by polling company Datum, Castillo received 45.5% compared with 40.1% for Fujimori, according to the data published in newspaper Gestion. That compares with a previous Datum simulation that had the difference at a more narrow 3.6 percentage points.

Voter intention, a slightly different gauge, had Castillo at 44.9% against 40.1% for Fujimori with 9.2% planning to spoil their ballot and 5.8% undecided, according to Datum. The poll surveyed 1,201 people between May 18 and 20 with a margin of error of 2.8%.

Peruvian markets soured Friday following the survey results. Asset prices have been whipsawed since the surprise first-round vote in April that saw Castillo emerge from near obscurity to handily beat a crowded field of candidates. Fujimori, who has unsuccessfully sought the presidency in the two previous elections, is trying to claw back terrain after initially trailing by some 20 percentage points in polls.

Castillo Halts Fujimori’s Advance in Latest Peru Runoff Poll

Peru’s dollar bonds due in 2051 fell 0.9% to trade at 97.3 cents on the dollar, the lowest in three weeks and the nation’s benchmark stock index was poised for its biggest drop in a month. The cost of insuring the country’s debt against default over the next five years jumped by 7.7 basis points, putting it on course for its largest one-day increase since April 26, based on CMA pricing.

A separate poll by Ipsos released last weekend showed the candidates virtually tied within the margin of error.

Castillo is pledging greater spending on education and health while demanding higher taxes from multinationals. Fujimori promises to maintain investor confidence and use her experience in a divided congress to push through legislation and find consensus.

The Peruvian sol has lost 2.4% since the first-round vote, the worst performing currency in emerging markets over that period.

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