Feb 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares dropped more than 1% on Monday, retreating from a record high scaled in the previous session, as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the central bank's monetary policy decision this week.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 1.1% at 7614.30 points by 2315 GMT. The benchmark closed 1.5% higher on Friday, hitting a record peak.

Investors anticipate the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) monetary policy decision due out on Tuesday, where the bank is expected to keep its key interest rate unchanged at 4.35% and hold it there at least until end-September, according to a Reuters' poll.

Australia's fourth-quarter retail sales data will also be released on Tuesday, and is considered a key economic indicator that will help gauge the trajectory of the RBA's future rate decisions.

On the local bourse, gold stocks fell the most, dropping 3.5%, set for worst day since Jan. 17.

Shares of gold miners Northern Star Resources and Evolution Mining fell 3.5% and 3.1%, respectively.

The heavyweight metals and mining index fell 2.2%, set for worst day since Jan. 10, as iron ore futures struggle amid lingering concerns over the recovery of the property sector in top consumer China.

Shares of the country's top miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto traded 2% and 1.7% lower, respectively.

Rate-sensitive financials lost 0.8%, with the big four banks down between 0.6% and 0.9%.

Energy stocks fell 1.6%, dragged by lower oil prices.

Sector giant Woodside Energy fell 1.6%, while shares of Santos were down nearly 2%.

In company news, Australian gold miner Red 5 will take over rival Silver Lake Resources to build a mid-tier gold company valued at $1.5 billion, the two companies said in a joint statement on Monday.

Shares of Silver Lake and Red 5 were down 13% and 6% in early trade, respectively.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index inched 0.1% lower to 11913.54 points.

(Reporting by Adwitiya Srivastava in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)