MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's old ruling party claimed victory after Sunday's presidential election but its candidate, Enrique Pena Nieto, likely will have to negotiate to pass planned economic reforms.
With 85 percent of returns in, Pena Nieto, of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), had about 38 percent support and a lead of 5.4 percentage points over his nearest rival, leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Following are reactions of analysts and investors.
DAVID REES, ECONOMIST, CAPITAL ECONOMICS, LONDON
"There are perhaps some early indications that the result may fail to fully meet the market's greatest expectations.
"As we have argued before, the outcome of the congressional elections will be crucial. Those official results are not expected until Wednesday, and we will respond then. But the early signs are that the coalition of the PRI and the Green Party will fall short of securing a majority in Congress.
"At best that could cause reforms to be watered down, at worst it could lead to a continuation of the political deadlock that has stalled reform during the PAN's 12-year stint in the presidency."
EDWIN GUTIERREZ, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT, LONDON
"I think people expected AMLO (Lopez Obrador) to ride off into the sunset; with this result, knowing AMLO, he probably won't go quietly."
"Whether it's an absolute majority (for the PRI in Congress) is kind of irrelevant because as we know they are going to need the PAN (opposition National Action Party) to get the super majority to pass (reforms)."
"The big question is, what's the PAN's price for cooperation? As we know they are ideologically sympathetic to these reforms, because they are the same reforms they tried to pass when they were in charge, but they saw 12 years of the PRI blocking them."
RODRIGO AGUILERA, ANALYST, ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT, LONDON
"The margin is quite small and that's worrying because there were plenty of allegations of vote-buying on a small scale."
"It doesn't mean Lopez Obrador is going to do the same as he did in 2006 ... but it's going to be an interesting week."
ALBERTO RAMOS, ECONOMIST, GOLDMAN SACHS, NEW YORK
"Tonight's results are within the range of market expectations and as such, we believe it should not trigger a significant market reaction.
"We reiterate that in our assessment the risk of a major reversal in macro policy direction is minor. That is, despite the likelihood of a new political party in the presidency (PRI), we see broad policy continuity rather than a radical departure from the current orthodox, disciplined, investment-friendly policy mix."
GABRIEL CASILLAS, ECONOMIST, BANORTE IXE, MEXICO CITY
"Although we expect post-electoral conflict, we hope there will be less and it will be of short duration due to the significant difference in votes between the leader and second place, as well as the fact that it's not the party in power that is winning the presidency.
"We anticipate market participants will welcome the news that a president with a good agenda of reforms and a possible majority in Congress has won, and that could reflect in an important rally in local markets, particularly the exchange rate."
LUIS ROBLES, EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT, MEXICAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, MEXICO CITY
"The country has demonstrated that its democratic institutions have consolidated. ... Markets are unpredictable but I expect (they will show) a ratification of confidence in Mexico."
RAFAEL DE LA FUENTE, ECONOMIST, UBS, NEW YORK
"It's a comfortable lead but I think we need to get some sense of the congressional makeup to a reach any conclusion" on what sort of mandate the new government will have for reforms.
(Reporting by Tomas Sarmiento and Krista Hughes; Editing by Will Dunham)