US to de-list China as currency manipulator: report

The United States on Monday will formally retract its accusation that China manipulates its currency to gain unfair trade advantages, according to a media report.

The news emerges two days before Beijing and Washington are due to sign a partial trade deal, marking an end to nearly two years of trade conflict.

It would also undo the major escalation from August by President Donald Trump, who made good on a campaign pledge to brand Beijing a currency manipulator.

CNBC reported Monday that Treasury will reverse the designation, citing an unnamed source.

The news helped drive Wall Street higher around 1700 GMT.

Trump in August angrily accused Beijing of weakening its currency "to steal our business and factories," re-stating a long-standing grievance.

Chinese authorities in August allowed the yuan to fall below 7 to the dollar for the first time in a decade, sending shudders through stock markets at the time and stoking Trump's ire.

The currency manipulator designation was largely symbolic, however: the US Treasury committed to work with the International Monetary Fund to "eliminate the unfair competitive advantage" created by China's alleged actions and to consult with Beijing about the matter.

Meanwhile, the US Trade Representative's Office announced over the weekend that, to implement the agreement due to be signed Wednesday, Washington and Beijing will hold "at least bi-annual" meetings.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Governor Jay Powell are also due to conduct macro-economic meetings with top Chinese officials "on a regular basis," the trade representative's office said.