SYDNEY, AAP – Australian shares have ended firmly higher, with investors staying cautious over the economic fallout from the Ukraine conflict after Western nations imposed fresh sanctions on Russia.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 51.3 points, or 0.73 per cent higher, at 7049.1 points.

The All Ordinaries index rose 49.6 points, or 0.68 per cent, to 7323.2 points.

Strong gains in mining and energy stocks were offset by negative sentiment in the heavyweight financial sector.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was lower at 71.85 US cents at 1615 AEDT, compared to 71.97 US cents at Friday’s close.