* Energy stocks on track for best week ever
* Telecom firm Telstra soars on shake-up plans
* NZ shares eye eighth straight session of gains
Nov 12 (Reuters) - Australia's benchmark share index paused
on Thursday, after a five-day rally, as losses in energy,
financial and travel-related stocks offset a strong showing by
The S&P/ASX 200 index was trading flat by 2345 GMT,
having risen as much as 0.3%. However, it was on track for a
weekly rise of more than 4%.
Airlines, oil firms, and banks, which rallied during the
week on positive coronavirus vaccine-related developments, fell.
"After five days of consecutive gains in those sectors, it
is understandable that the markets will be taking a breather,
and today is an example of that", said Steven Daghlian, market
analyst at CommSec.
Qantas Airways, Flight Centre Travel Group
and Sydney Airport Holdings declined.
Energy stocks, up more than 15% in their best week
ever, were down 0.6%.
Tech stocks jumped more than 3%, tracking gains in
U.S. peers overnight, as investors switched back to the sector.
Software firm Xero Ltd hit a record high after its
half-year profit soared.
The gold sub-index slipped more than 1.5%, hitting
its lowest since June 22, after bullion prices fell due to a
stronger dollar and hopes for a quick economic rebound.
Financial stocks were down as much as 0.9%, with the
"Big Four" banks losing between 0.2% and 1.8%.
Among individual stocks, broadcaster Nine Entertainment
led gains on the benchmark, hitting a two-year high on
Australia's biggest telecom firm Telstra Corp
jumped more than 6% on plans to split into three units as part
of a major restructuring.
In New Zealand, the benchmark was up 0.3% and on
track for its eighth consecutive session of gains.
(Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)