Feb 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares were muted on Tuesday as tepid performances in heavyweight commodities partially eclipsed gains in financials and banking stocks, while trading was thin as the U.S. markets were closed for a public holiday.

The S&P/ASX 200 index held its ground at 7,660.50 points by 0008 GMT. The benchmark index closed 0.1% higher on Monday.

Meeting minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia showed that it considered hiking rates by another quarter point in February, but decided to stand pat even as the central bank needs more time to be confident that inflation is declining.

The mining sector retreated 0.6%, with Rio Tinto and Fortescue losing 0.8% and 0.4%, respectively.

Shares of BHP Group lost 0.5% after the world's largest-listed miner said its first-half underlying profit was largely unchanged from a year earlier, but flagged higher costs from the impact of global inflation persisting into the second half.

Energy stocks fell 1.1%, with Woodside Energy and Santos slipping 1.3% and 0.6%, respectively.

Among individual stocks, Star Entertainment plunged as much as 25.9% to a record low after the company resumed trade, as it faces a second inquiry into its Sydney casino operations.

Bucking the sombre mood, bank stocks rose 0.5%, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corp rising between 0.4% and 2.3%. ANZ Group Holdings lost 1.8%.

Suncorp emerged as the second-biggest gainer in the benchmark index after the Australian Competition Tribunal allowed ANZ Group's buyout of its banking business.

The healthcare sub-index and IT stocks lost 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was down 0.6% at 11,585.99 points.

(Reporting by Neha Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)