The euro fell against the dollar on Monday, hovering close to nine-month lows as investors waited to see whether meetings of European finance ministers would result in further support for Greece.

There were few expectations the meetings on Monday and Tuesday would yield specific measures to bail out Greece, and most analysts expect uncertainty to keep the euro weak.

The market is already positioned for more falls in euro/dollar, it just needs the impetus to continue that, said Niels Christensen, currency strategist at Nordea in Copenhagen.

Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday Greece must cut its budget deficit by 4 percentage points this year. He said a mid-March assessment will show if Greece needs additional fiscal cuts.

Activity was quiet, however, with U.S. markets shut for a holiday.

By 1515 GMT, the euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.3591, not far from Friday's 9-month low of $1.3532.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar <.DXY> rose 0.1 percent to 80.403 <.DXY>. It stayed not far from the high of 80.748 hit late last week, its strongest since July 2009.

Concerns about debt restructuring at government-backed Dubai World also weighed on investors' appetite for risk and supported safe-haven flows into the U.S. dollar as the cost of insuring five-year Dubai debt against default jumped.

Sentiment very much favors a weak and vulnerable euro across the board, while the Dubai situation is weighing on risk appetite, Nordea's Christensen said.

The latest data showed currency speculators raised bets on the euro falling against the dollar to a record high in the week to February 9, while bets on the dollar rising hit their highest since September 2008.

For a graphic on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission positioning data see:here

Traders said the euro was seen vulnerable to a test of $1.3483, a 61.8 percent retracement of the rally from below $1.25 in March to the $1.5144 high in November.


Despite the market's extreme positioning against the euro, most analysts do not see a correction until there is further clarification on the Greece situation.

It was a case of 'flee the euro' and retreat into almost any other G10 currency, UBS analysts said of the CFTC data.

Jitters about large deficits in Greece and other smaller euro zone countries have contributed to the euro's near 10 percent decline since late 2009.

The near-term focus for Ecofin is to ensure that there is a credible political and institutional EU framework in place to help Greece deliver on its fiscal reform commitments and stem further speculative pressures on euro zone governments and the euro, said Lena Komileva, head of G7 market economics at Tullett Prebon.

The dollar was steady against the yen at 90.01 yen while the euro fell 0.2 percent to 122.32 yen after data on Monday showed Japan's economy grew more than expected in October-December.