November 17, 2021

Markets on tenterhooks as Peruvians vote in close election

Financial markets were on tenterhooks as Peruvians voted on Sunday in one of the most polarised elections in the country’s history, with private polls showing the candidates neck and neck.

The election pits Pedro Castillo, a rural primary school teacher turned hard-left populist, against Keiko Fujimori, the widely disliked daughter of Peru’s authoritarian former president Alberto Fujimori. The election takes place during a time of historic challenges for Peru, which is struggling against one of the world’s worst coronavirus pandemics, corruption, inequality, poverty and political infighting.

The prospect of a Castillo victory has sparked panic and capital flight among the Peruvian elite. According to Scotiabank, the currency, the sol, has depreciated further against the dollar than any other in the world since the first round of voting in April, when Castillo…

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