May 30 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell nearly 1% in broad-based selling on Thursday, with heavyweight miners and banks leading the losses, after stronger-than-expected consumer inflation data dampened expectations of an interest rate cut in the near term.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.8% to a nearly four-week low of 7,613 points, as of 0043 GMT. The benchmark closed 1.3% lower on Wednesday.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday that monthly consumer price index (CPI) rose at an annual pace of 3.6% in April, up from 3.5% in March, raising concerns of a delay in rate cuts.

There was strength in inflation and that the central bank was focused on inflation staying out of band, said Sarah Hunter, head-economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

The RBA expects headline inflation to pick up to 3.8% by June.

Investors now await key U.S. inflation data due on Friday for more cues on the Federal Reserve's interest rate trajectory.

In Sydney, rate-sensitive financial stocks fell 0.4%, as the "Big Four" banks traded down between 0.5% and 1.2%.

Miners slumped 1.5%, with BHP, the world's largest-listed miner, shedding about 1.3% after walking away from a $49 billion deal to take over London-listed rival Anglo American.

Tracking Wall Street losses, the technology sub-index lost 0.4% in early trade.

Gold and energy stocks were both trading 1.3% lower after commodity prices fell on fears that the U.S Fed could keep interests higher for longer.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was down 0.6% at 11,604.74, tracking its fifth consecutive session of losses, ahead of a government budget scheduled for 0200 GMT.

(Reporting by Prerna Bedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)