Buoyed by business world favorite Aecio Neves defying the odds and early polls to reach a run-off in Brazil's presidential election, the Sao Paulo stock market soared almost five percent Monday.
Neves seized his moment Sunday to see off environmentalist Marina Silva and reach an October 26 run-off with leftist incumbent Dilma Rousseff, who topped the poll eight points clear of her rival.
With Brazil in recession, Latin America's biggest exchange is stone cold on Rousseff and rooting for a Neves victory -- having previously been preparing to accept Silva as a presidential consolation prize.
As the market rose, Neves, the grandson of a former president, told a news conference he was the candidate to lead Brazil out of its current economic mire.
"My candidacy is not one of a party or an alliance but one which takes up the concrete possibility of returning Brazil to growth, job creation, health and security," the Social Democrat said.
"The first round (of the election) was a clear victory for this feeling of (wanting) change which has extended around the country."
He added: "I am honored to be at the forefront of this project."
Neves said he was bent on convincing the electorate -- and also voters he hopes will transfer their allegiance from Silva -- that "we have the means of providing a better future for Brazil."
With Neves polling 33.55 percent to 21.2 for Silva, the market shot up almost six percent before dipping in the afternoon to leave the benchmark Bovespa index on 57,115 points.
"There is a direct link between the market rise and the (poll) chances of Aecio Neves. The possibility of a tougher contest and the fact Dilma did not win on a single ballot explain this rise," Leandro Martins, analyst with Walpires broker, told AFP.
Rousseff has accused Neves and his Social Democrats, who ruled the country from 1995-2003, of seeking to take the country back to the past, favoring moneyed classes at the expense of those her Workers' Party. Over the past decade, its welfare reforms have lifted tens of millions of people out of extreme poverty.
"I was surprised to hear President Dilma comment that people had to be careful with the ghosts of the past. The truth is they are worried about the monsters of the present, such as high inflation, recession, corruption," Neves said.
He indicated Silva had called him to congratulate him on his poll result but said it was too early to talk about second-round alliances.
Both Neves and Socialist Party candidate Silva had pledged more orthodox economic policies for Brazil, including fiscal responsibility and targeting inflation, which has hit a government ceiling of 6.5 percent.