Nov 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares hit a three-week high on Thursday, buoyed by the gains in financial stocks on bets the central bank was done with interest rate hikes for now, while National Australia Bank rose 1.7% after the lender reported higher annual cash profit.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5% to 7,032.5 as at 0055 GMT, its highest level since Oct. 19. The benchmark rose 0.3% on Wednesday.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) lifted key rates to a more than 12-year high on Tuesday but said that going forward it would assess data more closely to decide if even more tightening was required.

Analysts at UOB said the RBA's policy guidance in November was "dovish-sounding", adding they expect the RBA to keep rates unchanged in December.

Banks rose 0.6%, with three out the "big four" banks advancing between 1% and 1.4%. Westpac was down 2.5%, as it was trading ex-dividend.

Mining stocks also surged 0.8% tracking higher iron ore prices, after the central bank governor in top steel producer China spoke on ongoing support measures for the property market.

Rio Tinto rose 0.7%, while BHP Group added 0.6%.

Technology stocks slumped 3%, becoming the biggest percentage losers on the benchmark. The sub-index was set for biggest drop in two weeks.

Heavyweight Xero's shares fell 9.4%, as the software firm's half-year core profit missed analyst expectations.

Wisetech Global shed 0.6%, and Australia-listed shares of Block fell 2.6%.

Gold stocks also slipped 1.6% following a drop in gold prices.

Evolution Mining and Northern Star Resources fell 0.6% and 0.1%, respectively.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.1% to 11,167.28.

Fonterra rose 1.9% as the world's largest dairy exporter flagged a challenging operating environment for global dairy markets in fiscal 2024.

(Reporting by Poonam Behura in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)