SANTIAGO, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Santiago Stock Exchange fell by over 4.5 percent on Monday morning, after the opposition candidate, former president Sebastian Pinera, did not achieve the expected result in the first round of the presidential election on Sunday.
Pinera, representing the right-wing Chile Vamos (Let's Go Chile), has positioned himself as the darling of financial markets. However, his lower score than predicted led to uncertainty.
Pinera finished well ahead of his rivals on 36 percent, but Alejandro Guillier, the chosen successor of socialist President Michelle Bachelet, finished on 22 percent, while Beatriz Sanchez, of the left-wing coalition Frente Amplio (Broad Front), came in with a surprising 20 percent.
This leaves the second round on Dec. 17 wide open, with Pinera and Guillier now fighting to gain the 50 percent they need to win.
The other financial indicator saw the Chilean peso drop against the U.S. dollar, losing almost 12 pesos in value to the dollar, halfway through trading.
"While the market expected that elections would be decided in a second round, it did not count with the high votes seen by the left," said a financial operator quoted by the daily, El Mercurio.
Polls ahead of the elections gave Pinera a minimum expected score of 43 percent, which had led to broad optimism on the right. Some opposition supporters had even predicted an outright win for Pinera in the first round, with a score of over 50 percent.
Analysts are now saying this score has blown the second round wide open and a new electoral battle is set to take place.