By Anirban Nag SYDNEY (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar’s strength gathered steam on Monday, while the euro huddled near seven-month lows as fiscal worries in the euro zone prompted investors to add to short positions in the single currency. Investors unwound leveraged carry trades funded in the yen on reports regulators could move to curb them.

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei stock average is likely to trade in a narrow range on Monday, hurt by worry about fiscal stability in Europe and weak tech shares that pushed U.S. stocks lower but also bolstered by bargain-hunting. Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote , Profile , Research ) is likely to be in focus after a U.S

(For more stories on the Japanese economy, click [ID:nECONJP]) TOKYO, Feb 1 (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan may need to make efforts on the monetary policy front to stop deflation, the Nikkei business daily quoted Japan’s Finance Minister Naoto Kan as saying on Monday. Kan was also quoted as saying in an interview with the newspaper that the government and the Bank of Japan share the view that Japan needs to escape deflation. (Reporting by Leika Kihara and Rie Ishiguro)

HOUSTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – A gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit malfunctioned Saturday at ConocoPhillips joint-venture 146,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery in Borger, Texas, according to a notice filed with Texas pollution regulators. The FCC at the refinery, which is owned by a joint venture between Conoco and EnCana called WRB Refining LLC, suffered a process upset on Saturday afternoon, according to a notice filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

NEW YORK, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co (DIS.N: Quote , Profile , Research ) is looking to sell what is left of its Miramax film unit, which could bring in more than $700 million, The New York Times reported on Sunday, citing a mergers and acquisitions expert with knowledge of the process. The company is looking to sell the Miramax name as well as its 700-film library, the report said, and the possible sale has attracted the interest of seven to 10 bidders

HOUSTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N: Quote , Profile , Research ) began work on a delayed coking unit at its 310,000 barrel per day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery on Sunday, according to a notice filed with state pollution regulators. Valero “depressured part of the coker for maintenance,” according to the notice filed on Sunday with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. (Reporting by Erwin Seba, editing by Martin Golan)

(Adds more recommendations from Barron’s) NEW YORK, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The top portfolio managers at leading mutual funds are betting on companies ranging from MasterCard Inc (MA.N: Quote , Profile , Research ) to Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: Quote , Profile , Research ) for 2010, financial weekly Barron’s said in its Feb. 1 edition.

HOUSTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Shell Oil Co’s joint-venture 329,800 barrel per day (bpd) Deer Park, Texas, refinery began restarting five units involved in motor fuel production on Sunday, according to a notice filed with Texas pollution regulators. The refinery was restarting the hydrocessing unit, coker, gas oil hydrotreater, catalytic reformer and platformer on Sunday, according to the notice filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Bernard Orr)

(Adds Volcker comments, details from bailout report) WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Failure to enact financial reforms to curb large banks’ risky activities and allow them to fail without broad market disruptions will make the financial system even more fragile in the future, Obama administration adviser Paul Volcker said on Sunday. In an opinion piece written for The New York Times, Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman, said the United States needs better protection against “outliers” — a limited number of mega-institutions whose failure would be “disturbing” to markets. “The implication is clear.