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Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a rally outside the petrochemical complex known as Comperj in Itaborai, Brazil December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

(reuters_tickers)

BRASILIA (Reuters) - A Brazilian appeals court on Tuesday said it would decide on Jan. 24 on an appeal by former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva against a corruption conviction that could sideline him from the 2018 presidential race.

Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index rallied on the news, first reported on the website of newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, to close 1.4 percent higher.

Investors had been wary that a delay in the appeals court decision until later next year would hand the leftist icon more time to consolidate himself as the frontrunner in the campaign, making it harder for judges to bar his candidacy.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Brad Haynes; Editing by Daniel Flynn)

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