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Australian shares trade flat as vaccine winners catch breath

* 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 tech firms.

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 upbeat outlook.

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

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