Feb 21 (Reuters) - Australian shares tracked Wall Street lower on Wednesday, with the mining sector leading the laggards due to weaker iron ore prices in top steel producer China.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.7% to 7,604.00 by 0055 GMT. The benchmark index ended 0.1% lower on Tuesday.

U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq showing the largest declines as chipmaker Nvidia stumbled ahead of earnings report. Optimism that central banks worldwide will start cutting interest rates soon also waned.

In Sydney, the heavyweight mining index retreated as much as 2.8% to hit its lowest level since Oct. 25, after iron ore futures fell overnight to their lowest level in more than three months due to tepid demand outlook in China.

BHP Group Fortescue and Rio Tinto shed between 2.7% and 3.7%, respectively.

Energy stocks slid 1.5%. Santos shed as much as 2%, after the oil and gas producer reported a 42% drop in annual underlying profits.

Among individual stocks, Woolworths Group skidded 9% in its biggest intraday percentage loss since Dec. 14, 2021 after the company reported weaker-than-expected first-half underlying profit growth and announced the retirement of its top boss Brad Banducci. The stock was the second biggest loser on the benchmark index.

Financials inched lower 0.2%. Three of the country's "Big Four" banks were up between 0.2% and 1.5%.

Shares of National Australia Bank rose 1.8% to hit their highest in nearly nine years after first-quarter cash earnings beat market estimates and the lender said it remained optimistic on the outlook for the Australian economy.

Healthcare stocks rose 0.9%, while gold stocks fell 0.5%.

Information technology stocks jumped as much as 3.4% to hit their highest since Jan. 6, 2022. WiseTech Global was the top gainer on the sub-index with a 13% jump to a record high.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was flat at 11,571.25.

(Reporting by Neha Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)