* ASX 200 marks best session in a week

* Miners post best day in nearly a month

* Santos first-half profit drops 37%

Aug 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Wednesday as gains in heavyweight miners and financials outweighed losses in energy and technology stocks, while retail giant Woolworths jumped after reporting higher annual profit.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.4% higher at 7,148.4, posting its best day since Aug. 15.

Shares of Woolworths rose 3.5% after the country's largest supermarket chain posted a 4.6% rise in full-year underlying profit as price increases more than offset rising costs.

Meanwhile, Santos closed 1% lower after Australia's second-largest independent gas producer posted a 37% slump in its first-half profit, dented by weaker realised prices and production.

Globally, investors are awaiting more direction on interest rates from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming later this week.

"Powell's speech at Jackson Hole will focus on the longer-term view of rates and, in particular, how the neutral rate may have changed, rather than focusing on short-term policy changes," said Kerry Craig, a global market strategist at J.P Morgan.

"The Fed could still raise rates later this year, but it will keep its options open at the September meeting, preferring to hold rates and wait for further confirmation on the inflation outlook."

In Australia, mining stocks rose 1.4% to post their best session since July 26, helped by a rise in iron ore prices on optimism over China demand prospects. BHP Group and Rio Tinto gained 1.9% and 2.4%, respectively.

Financials advanced 0.6%, with the so called "big four" banks up between 0.4% and 1.3%.

Gold stocks climbed 0.9%, tracking an uptick in bullion prices.

Energy stocks dropped 1%, while technology stocks slumped 5.3%.

In other news, APA Group said it would acquire Alinta Energy's power assets in Western Australia's Pilbara region for A$1.7 billion ($1.1 billion) including debt.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index advanced 0.8% to 11,571.93. (Reporting by John Biju in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)