* Dollar, yen keep gains, euro on the defensive * Aussie subdued as investors trim long positions
By Anirban Nag
SYDNEY, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar and the yen were firm on Monday while currencies leveraged to global growth like the Australian dollar ran into a bout of profit-taking after an impressive run up since the start of the new year.
The euro stayed under pressure, dragged down by concerns about fiscal problems buffeting Greece. The country's budget deficit has ballooned and its credit ratings have been cut, a factor that has been weighing down on the euro in the past few months [ID:nLDE60E1AB].
The risk reward (for the euro) is skewed towards further negativity on the news front as Greece struggles to convince the markets of its three-year plan to reduce the fiscal deficit and maintain a steady hand going forward, Westpac said in a note.
The market is ultra sensitive to towards any related news or information.
The euro was down at $1.4360, having shed nearly 0.9 percent on Friday. Support for the single currency is seen at around $1.4285, its 200-day moving average. On the yen, the euro EURJPY=R was down at 130.43 yen, having declined over 1 percent on Friday.
The U.S. dollar was marginally firmer on the yen at 90.88 yen, with resistance seen around the 91.35 yen level, while support is expected around 90.60 yen. Still, falling U.S. yields are likely to see the yen gain some ground against the greenback.
U.S. financial markets are closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King day holiday.
The yen gained broadly late last week as investors cut back on risky trades and higher-yielding currencies like the Australian dollar. The Aussie was down at $0.9210 from $0.9223 late in New York on Friday as investors pared some of the huge long positions accumulated over the past weeks.
Last year, the Aussie was one of the best performing currencies, jumping nearly 30 percent as investors piled on expectations of higher local rates and a rebound in commodities given prospects of better global growth. In 2010, it has extended those gains, having gained nearly 3 percent.
Data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed investors added to their net long positions in the Australian and Canadian dollars.
In contrast, speculators turned against the U.S. dollar in the week to Jan 12, with the value of the dollar's net short position at around $2.7 billion, compared to a net long of $4.25 billion in the previous week. This was the first net short position on the dollar since Dec.15.
Traders say this week a raft of Chinese data this week, ranging from fourth-quarter gross domestic product, retail sales and industrial production for December could give direction to growth-linked currencies.
Last week, JP Morgan Chase (JPM.N) reported an overall profit but losses on its loan book and credit cards, boding ill for its competitors. (Editing by Wayne Cole)