Australian shares ended lower on Monday ahead of the country's central bank policy meeting, with investors fearing a sooner-than-expected interest rate hike, while shares of Qantas Airways surged on new jet orders as it seeks to capitalise on the recovery in air travel.

The S&P/ASX 200 index skid 1.2% to 7,347, with all major sub-indexes in the red. The benchmark ended up 1.1% on Friday.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to raise interest rates on Tuesday, joining a long list of central banks now expected to tighten policies at a much faster pace than previously thought to tame surging inflation, a Reuters poll found.

"Once the market realizes that central banks can't be unmovable in their position with raising rates, a lot of money is going to come pouring back," Smoling Stockbroking Managing Director Brad Smoling said.

Local technology stocks lost 4% to lead losses on the benchmark following Wall Street that tumbled sharply on Friday as U.S. monthly inflation surged the most since 2005.

ASX-listed shares of Block fell 2.2% and software maker Xero lost 6.6%.

Domestic gold stocks lost 1.8% as bullion prices fell, with sector leaders Northern Star and Newcrest Mining retreating 2.1% and 0.9% respectively.

"Even as commodity and energy stocks offer an opportunity to calm the market ahead, I don't see the volatility going away for a little while," Smoling added.

Among individual stocks, shares of flag-carrier Qantas Airways surged as much as 5.7% to reach their highest since last November after the company ordered a dozen special Airbus jets to fly non-stop Sydney-London flights.

Meanwhile, National Australia Bank gave up 1% as the lender entered a deal with the country's financial crimes regulator to address concerns around breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws.

Shares of Australian power producer AGL Energy also slipped as much as 3.3% after the company trimmed its annual profit forecast.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.8% to 11,784.4, after two straight sessions of gain. ($1 = 1.4211 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)