Leaders will be briefed today on the first steps for reform of the currency regime Further interest rate rises and greater currency flexibility are likely to be added to the monetary policy mix when top mainland leaders gather today for a three-day meeting to thrash out next year's economic plans. Sources said leaders at the Central Economic Work Conference will be briefed about the central bank's plan to make interest rate adjustments more attuned to markets. 'The central bank will keep a close eye on both international markets and domestic variables to adjust both lending and savings rates again next year, at a time they consider ripe for such a change or changes,' a source said. Inflation, investment and money supply are the main economic indicators followed by mainland policymakers, who raised interest rates for the first time in nine years on October 28. The rate rise was part of a series of control measures aimed at cooling the economy. The closed-door conference will also talk about liberalising the country's foreign exchange regime. Sources said the central bank would gradually widen the trading band of the yuan next year as a first step in currency regime reform. Beijing tightly controls trading in the yuan and sets its value within a narrow band at about 8.28 yuan to the US dollar. Central Bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said recently it was too early to abandon the yuan's peg to the dollar altogether, while Premier Wen Jiabao said last week that the currency would not be revalued amid rampant speculation. Most domestic analysts believe authorities will map out a more flexible yuan policy for next year as Beijing has been under increasing pressure from overseas to allow the yuan to float. 'The possibility that the central bank can stick to its current yuan policy next year is near zero,' said Beijing Normal University economist Zhong Wei . As the US dollar sank to record lows against other main currencies, it would be very difficult for the yuan to stay pegged to it, he said. 'The yuan's dollar peg cannot survive under such circumstances,' Dr Zhong said. 'The rest of world markets would all put up anti-dumping cases against China for its unfair currency advantage.' Song Guoqing , an economist with Peking University's China Economy Research Centre, said the fixed exchange rate was likely to be changed next year. He expected gradual change with a small revaluation, a trading band of up to 5 per cent and a peg based on a currency basket rather than a unitary link to the US dollar. The work conference would emphasise that the central government would apply 'double stable policies' in both fiscal and monetary management, sources said. It would also set macroeconomic targets for next year.