May 6 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Monday after softer-than-expected U.S. jobs data revived hopes of interest rate cuts this year, while investors awaited the Australian central bank's monetary policy decision on Tuesday for further direction.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.4% to 7,662.700 by 0045 GMT, led by financials and mining stocks. The benchmark ended 0.6% higher on Friday.

Data released on Friday showed U.S. jobs growth slowed more than expected in April and annual wage gains cooled, boosting bets that the Federal Reserve will cut rates twice this year.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will hold its key policy rate for a fourth straight meeting and at least until end-September, according to a Reuters poll of economists who forecast just one rate cut this year.

That change in expectations from two 25 basis point cuts in an April survey follows news inflation fell less than expected last quarter and the labour market remains tight.

Rate-sensitive financials gained 0.4%, with the "Big Four" banks up between 0.6% and 1.5%. Westpac rose 1.5% after the country's oldest bank announced a special dividend and raised its share buyback programme.

Heavyweight miners rose 0.6%, with sector giant BHP Group up 0.4%.

Energy stocks inched 0.4% higher, with oil and gas giant Woodside Energy up 0.8%.

Information technology stocks rose 0.9%, while real estate stocks jumped 1.7%.

Healthcare stocks traded largely flat, with CSL gaining 0.1%.

Meanwhile, gold stocks shed 0.5% as bullion prices slipped on a stronger dollar.

In company news, Qantas Airways lost 0.9% after the airline agreed to pay a penalty of A$100 million ($66.08 million) in a flight cancellation case.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 1% to 11,824.1800. Among losers, Spark New Zealand slumped 4.9% as it reduced its FY24 guidance.

($1 = 1.5133 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Rajasik Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)