* U.S. Treasury avoids naming China as currency manipulator
* Netflix shares up ahead of results
* Most major European markets closed for Easter Monday
(Updates prices, adds oil market details)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, April 17 Tensions over North Korea
pressured the dollar against the yen and lifted gold prices on
Monday, while U.S. stocks rose after three straight days of
losses as investors shifted their focus to earnings.
North Korea had a failed missile test launch over the
weekend, adding to regional tensions that have escalated in
recent weeks as U.S. President Donald Trump has taken a tough
rhetorical line with Pyongyang.
"We are seeing once again a little bit of a flight to safety
as a result of the news over the weekend of North Korea's
attempted missile test. That's resulting in a little bit of a
weakness in the U.S. dollar," said Omer Esiner, chief market
analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.
The dollar fell to a five-month low against the
safe-haven yen, while the U.S. dollar index was down 0.4
percent. Gold gained 0.7 percent to hit a five-month high
Most major European markets were closed for Easter Monday,
while Wall Street reopened after being closed for the Good
Data showing China's economy grew more quickly than expected
in the first quarter helped to offset some geopolitical worries.
First-quarter results from U.S. companies will draw
investors' attention as reporting picks up this week. Shares of
Netflix, due to report after the bell, were up 2.9
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 121.98
points, or 0.6 percent, to 20,575.23, the S&P 500 had
gained 13.39 points, or 0.57 percent, to 2,342.34 and the Nasdaq
Composite had added 34.37 points, or 0.59 percent, to
"People want to be focused on earnings and how the economy
is doing," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston
Private Wealth in New York.
"Financials should do well... but they've given most of the
gains back that they've seen since President Trump was elected."
Financial shares rallied after the Nov. 8 election on hopes
of deregulation under Trump and expectations of higher interest
World stocks as measured by the MSCI world equity index
rose 0.5 percent.
The United States, its allies and China are working
together on a range of responses to North Korea's latest failed
ballistic missile test, Trump's national security adviser said
on Sunday, citing what he called an international consensus to
That dwarfed any relief for market players after the U.S.
Treasury did not name China as a currency manipulator, avoiding
an all-out confrontation on currencies between the world's two
In a highly anticipated report on Friday, Trump's
administration declined to name any major trading partner as a
currency manipulator, backing away from a key campaign promise
to slap that label on China.
U.S. bond prices were mostly flat. The 10-year U.S. Treasury
yield was at 2.23 percent.
Crude oil prices slipped following three straight weeks of
gains, but the strong economic growth in China and a weaker
dollar limited losses.
Benchmark Brent crude futures were down 43 cents at
$55.46 a barrel, while U.S. crude futures were down 45
cents at $52.73.
(Additional reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Richard Leong in
New York; Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli
and Dan Grebler)