April 24 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Wednesday in tandem with Wall Street peers, while investors awaited crucial local inflation print for clues on the central bank's stance on monetary easing.

The S&P/ASX 200 index <. AXJO> was up 0.5% at 7,722.60, as of 0100 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.5% higher on Tuesday.

Wall Street clawed back some of its overnight losses as the easing of geopolitical tensions lifted investors' risk appetite.

Back in Australia, market participants await the March-quarter inflation data to get a better grasp about the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary outlook.

Analysts in a Reuters poll expect the consumer price index to rise 0.8% in the March quarter.

As of April 23, only 8% of the market participants forecast the RBA to cut interest rates at its May meeting, according to the RBA Rate Tracker.

Rate-sensitive financials gained nearly 1% with the "Big Four" banks rising between 0.8% and 1%.

Energy stocks crept 0.8% higher, tracking global oil prices that rose on a weaker U.S. dollar. Shares of Woodside Energy and Santos surged 0.9% and 1.3%, respectively.

Health stocks gained 1.1% with biotech giant CSL up 1.1%.

Gold stocks surged nearly 2% higher, as bullion's safe-haven demand spiked after Israeli strikes intensified across Gaza in some of the heaviest shelling in weeks.

Australian information technology stocks tracked upbeat performances in tech-heavy Nasdaq, while real estate stocks jumped 1%.

Miners lost 0.6% as iron ore prices slipped on signs of softening in the steel market due to subdued demand in top consumer China.

Shares of mining mammoth BHP Group fell 1.2% while Fortescue slipped 1% after the world's fourth-largest iron ore miner reported a 6% dip in its quarterly iron ore shipments.

Across the Tasman Sea, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4% to 11,849.78 points.

(Reporting by Rajasik Mukherjee; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)