Feb 27 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Tuesday as investors braced for local and U.S. inflation data due later this week, while grocer Coles Group rose more than 6% on better-than-expected interim profits.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.4% to 7,624.2 by 2354 GMT, dragged down by losses in gold and mining stocks. The benchmark ended up 0.1% on Monday.

Markets were awaiting inflation data from the United States and Australia for interest rate clues, with any upside risks expected to challenge future rate-cut expectations.

In New Zealand, the central bank is scheduled to deliver its monetary policy decision on Wednesday, with a Reuters poll forecasting the cash rate to remain unchanged at a 15-year high of 5.50%.

In Sydney, gold stocks declined 2.3% to hit a four-month low after bullion prices closed lower overnight.

Australia-listed shares of Newmont Corp fell 3.2% and were among the top losers on the benchmark index. Evolution Mining slid 2.5%.

Miners fell 1.5%, hitting the lowest level since Oct. 25, after iron ore prices closed lower overnight due to higher stock levels in China and concerns about slower construction activity.

Rio Tinto shed 1.3%, while BHP Group was down 0.9%.

Real estate and healthcare stocks dropped 1.4% and 0.9%, respectively.

Meanwhile, energy stocks rose 0.6%, tracking gains in oil prices amid possible shipping disruptions.

Shares of top oil and gas explorer Woodside Energy rose 1.4%. The company's full-year profit declined as a result of lower realised prices for its products, but beat market expectations. Sector major Santos climbed 0.4%.

Among individual stocks, Coles Group rose more than 6%. Australia's second-biggest grocer reported a decline in half-yearly profit, but managed to beat consensus forecasts.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.3% to 11,668.8. (Reporting by Poonam Behura in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)