Eduardo Campos was running third in polls for the October election when his plane crashed near the port city of Santos. The 49 year old’s death caused major fluctuations in financial markets.
The plane carrying Mr Campos was on its way from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo when it crashed in a residential area of the port city of Santos, some 70km (43 miles) from its destination. Brazilian Air Force officials have reported that the plane could not land at Guaruja airport due to bad weather, and they lost contact with the plane shortly after 10 a.m. local time.
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According to Bloomberg, there were nine people killed in total.
The upcoming Brazilian presidential election has been hugely disrupted by the death of Campos, who was seen as the most market-friendly candidate. The latest polls had estimated that he had the support of around 10% of the population, and his supporters will now find themselves being courted by the other candidates in an increasingly close election battle.
As well as the political ramifications of his death, its impact on financial markets was also significant. Local markets of stocks and currency “whipsawed” following the sad news.
As much as 2 percent was wiped off the main Brazilian stock index in the wake of initial reports that Campos had died, but later rebounded and almost returned to previous levels in early afternoon trade. The Brazilian real also fell sharply on news of Campos’ death but later bounced back.
Growing political uncertainty after the death of Campos
The death of the market friendly Campos has analysts unsure of their positions. According to Rogerio Freitas, a partner at hedge fund Teorica Investimentos:“Elections are the main driver for the market now, but without Campos, uncertainty increases. And the market will only find a direction once new polls become available.”
The markets are hoping for an alternative to incumbent left-leaning President Dilma Rousseff, whose policies have alienated business leaders. It remains to be seen what effect the death of Campos ultimately has in the election race, but some commentators believe that a re-election of Rousseff is actually less likely following Campos’ death, predicting that his more popular running mate Marina Silva will replace him.