CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Mexico peso hits record low, analysts blame bondholders
(Corrects fund manager's location to London instead of New York, paragraph 12 )
By Michael O'Boyle
MEXICO CITY Feb 9 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso sank to a record low on Tuesday, pressured by what analysts described as bets against riskier assets in general and a move by investors to hedge big positions in local bonds.
The peso fell more than 1.5 percent to 18.9350 per dollar as fears of a global slowdown and concerns about the health of some European banks pushed investors to safe-haven currencies like the Japanese yen and Swiss franc.
Oil prices fell 6 percent, hurting the peso which often trades off oil prices. While Mexico is a major crude producer, its economy is far more dependent on its factory exports.
"There is a lot of panic in the global market," said Benito Berber, an analyst at Nomura in New York, who said the peso's slump "doesn't have a lot to do with Mexico itself."
Mexico's peso is among the most liquid global currencies, which often makes it the most convenient asset to bet against whenever global sentiment turns sour against riskier assets in general.
That liquidity is partly behind why the peso has suffered deeper losses so far this year than Brazil's real, Russia's rouble or South Africa's rand - all currencies linked to countries with crises spurred by poor local policymaking.
The peso has shed nearly 9 percent this year, while the rouble is down more than 7 percent and the rand more than 3 percent. Brazil's real has gained more than 1 percent. Continuación...