The Obama administration will defer a decision on whether to name China a currency manipulator until well after President Hu Jintao visits Washington for a nuclear proliferation summit, the New York Times reported on Friday.

The paper, citing an administration official, said the decision reflected a judgment that threatening China was not the most effective way to persuade Beijing to allow the yuan to appreciate against the U.S. dollar.

A U.S. Treasury report that would have published the decision on whether to brand China a currency manipulator had been scheduled for release on April 15.

The White House and U.S. Treasury declined to comment.

China said on Thursday that Hu would attend a summit on nuclear security days before the Treasury decision was expected, and diplomats said Beijing had agreed to join in talks with Western powers about a fresh round of U.N. sanctions against Iran.

Those moves indicated an easing of tensions between the two world powers after a rocky period characterized by disputes over China's Internet controls, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, and Obama's meeting with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalia Lama.

President Barack Obama and Hu spoke for about an hour while Obama was flying back to Washington late on Thursday from political fundraising events in Boston.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and David Lawder, Editing by Sandra Maler)