September 11, 2018 / 1:30 PM / 2 months ago

Brazil real, stocks fall after leftists surge in election poll

SAO PAULO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Brazil’s currency weakened as much as 1.9 pct on Tuesday after a new poll showed key leftist candidates gaining strength for a possible runoff contest against far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who gained less than expected in the survey.

The real was trading at 4.16 per U.S. dollar in morning trading, within striking distance of its all-time low of 4.2.

Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa index also slumped, losing as much as 2 percent in early trading.

On Monday, the first survey conducted since the near-fatal stabbing of Bolsonaro showed him gaining just two percentage points from the previous Datafolha poll, while leftist Ciro Gomes rose to second place, taking 13 percent, up from 10 percent.

Former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad, who is expected to be named as the candidate for the leftist Workers Party on Tuesday, jumped to 9 percent from 4 percent in the same poll a few weeks ago. (Reporting By Paula Laier and Claudia Violante Writing by Christian Plumb Editing by Daniel Flynn)

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