MEXICO CITY, March 24 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso weakened sharply on Wednesday after a ratings firm downgraded Portugal's debt, stoking worries that rising government deficits could impede a global economic recovery.

The peso MEX01 lost 0.62 percent to 12.558 per U.S. dollar, also hurt by weaker-than-expected new home sales in February in the United States, Mexico's top trading partner. (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by James Dalgleish)