UPDATE 3-Brazil's Rousseff pulls ahead of Neves as election nears

miércoles 22 de octubre de 2014 12:02 GYT

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By Anthony Boadle

BRASILIA Oct 22 (Reuters) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff pulled ahead of opposition candidate Aecio Neves in another poll on Wednesday and looks like a slight favorite heading into what is expected to be the country's tightest election in decades.

The Datafolha poll was the fourth in three days to show Rousseff approaching Sunday's runoff vote with a slight edge over Neves, who had stirred investor enthusiasm by promising business-friendly policies to revive a sluggish economy.

Brazil's stocks and currency have sold off this week as Neves lost momentum in a race that he was recently leading. The benchmark Bovespa stock index hovered above a four-month low on Wednesday, and the real seesawed near its weakest level since 2008.

In contrast to the pessimism in financial markets, voters surveyed by Datafolha expressed a surge of optimism about Brazil's economy, suggesting Rousseff's well-oiled campaign was restoring confidence despite a recession this year.

In the new survey, Rousseff's share of voter support has risen to 47 percent from 46 percent in a Datafolha poll published on Monday. Support for Neves remained at 43 percent.

Neves dismissed recent surveys on Tuesday, noting that for the Oct. 5 first-round vote, pollsters had underestimated his support and overestimated Rousseff's by a margin of 10 points.

While Rousseff has widened her lead to 4 percentage points, the difference between them is still within Datafolha's margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.   Continuación...