April 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Monday with financial stocks leading gains, likely tracking Wall Street as strong U.S. jobs data suggested a healthy economy even as it indicated a delay in Federal Reserve rate cuts.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.1% to 7,784.30 points by 0048 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.6% lower on Friday.

In the U.S., jobs data showed far more workers were hired in March than expected and wages increased steadily, suggesting a healthy economy even as it indicated delayed Fed rate cuts.

In the local bourse, rate-sensitive financials rose as much as 0.6%, with the "Big Four" banks advancing between 0.4% and 0.7%.

Gold stocks gained as much as 2.4%, hitting their highest level since May 5, 2023.

Gold miner Northern Star Resources rose as much as 1.5%, reaching its highest level since Nov. 17, 2020.

Healthcare stocks rose as much as 0.6% while technology stocks advanced as much as 1.6%.

Bucking the trend, energy stocks fell as much as 1.4%, tracking falling oil prices.

Sector majors Woodside Energy and Santos fell as much as 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively.

Mining stocks dropped as much as 0.8%, their lowest level since March 28. Heavy-weight miners Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Fortescue fell between 0.3% and 1.4%.

In company news, Beach Energy said it expects the first gas production from its Waitsia Stage 2 gas project in early 2025, instead of mid-2024, due to further quality issues.

The oil and gas explorer fell as much as 21.9% to its lowest since Dec. 14, 2023 and was among the top drags on the benchmark.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.2% to 11,988.95 points.

Additionally, investors closely monitored the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for hints on interest rate outlook ahead of its monetary policy review meeting on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Sherin Sunny in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman )