JOHANNESBURG, May 22 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand was firmer on Tuesday, swinging back from a five-month low as investors pocketed profits from the recent rise in the dollar and braced for local interest rate and credit rating decisions due later in the week.
* At 0645 GMT the rand was 0.39 percent firmer at 12.6300 per dollar compared to Monday’s low of 12.8950, its weakest level since December.
* “The dollar is overbought and a correction phase is imminent in our opinion,” said analysts at Nedbank in a note.
* The greenback retreated from five-month highs and U.S. Treasuries also softened from seven-year highs, allowing some reprieve for emerging market currencies which have been battered by the surge in U.S. assets.
* South Africa’s central bank announces its decision on lending rates on Thursday while ratings firms Fitch and Standard & Poor’s are set to take ratings action on Friday.
* The Reserve Bank (SARB) is expected to keep interest rates unchanged at 6.5 percent at Thursday’s meeting, by all 25 economists surveyed by Reuters last week.
* Bonds were also firmer with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 down 5.5 basis points to 8.62 percent.
* Stocks were due to open lower when trade commences at 0700 GMT, with the JSE’s Top-40 futures index down 0.34 percent. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana Editing by Ed Stoddard)