Johannesburg - South Africa's rand slipped against the dollar on Thursday after failing to sustain gains made the previous day.

The rand was at 11.0495 to the dollar at 08:16 SA time, down 0.4 percent from Wednesday's New York close.

The currency traded above 11.000 to the dollar on Wednesday, reaching a session high of 10.9300, before weakening to close just shy of the psychologically key level.

Yields on the 2026 and 2015 government bonds each rose 2 basis points to 8.74 percent and 7.13 percent respectively.

The spotlight on Thursday will be on President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address, his last before elections on May 7.

The speech comes amid a backdrop of strikes in the platinum mining sector, protests in townships against poor government services and tensions between the ruling ANC party and the opposition Democratic Alliance.

“With foreign investors already concerned about strike action and socio-economic uncertainty in South Africa, the aggressive undertone that marked the engagement between the DA and ANC supporters in Johannesburg yesterday couldn't have inspired confidence in foreign investors,” Rand Merchant Bank analysts wrote in a note. - Reuters