New York (CNNMoney.com) - Chinese and U.S. officials are reportedly close to a deal on boosting the value of China's currency, the yuan - the first step to making U.S.-made goods more competitive versus Chinese exports.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was in China for a surprise meeting this week, and Chinese President Hu Jintao is due in Washington next week.
"It's basically seems like it's a done deal," said foreign exchange expert Ashraf Laidi, chief market strategist for CMC Markets.
The agreement is widely expected to result in an immediate 2% to 3% rise in the yuan - a fairly modest step. What could make the agreement significant, however, is if China agrees to future increases as the currency moves toward being freely traded for the first time.