Telecom shares fell to a new record low today in a New Zealand sharemarket which under-performed other markets.

There was further disappointment when major electricity companies opted to develop electricity futures contracts on an ASX platform, rather than with the NZX. NZX shares fell 3c to 158.

The benchmark NZX-50 closed up 5.209 points, or 0.173 per cent, at 3024.101 after the Dow Jones industrial average gained 2.3 per cent on Wednesday US time and the Australian market posted gains in excess of 2 per cent today.

Turnover was worth $78.98 million. There were 50 rises and 25 falls among the 115 stocks traded.

"It was a disappointing performance by the New Zealand market with offshore markets powering ahead. We're just holding our heads above water, and really under-performing today," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

"There just doesn't seem to be any conviction buying in the local market," he said.

Telecom traded as low at 182 and closed down 3c at 183, which is below the previous record low of 185.

"There is still selling pressure in that stock and no real relief for investors," Mr Williamson said.

Contact Energy ended up 1c at 577, while Fletcher Building ended unchanged at 820 after being ahead 7c in early trading.

Port of Tauranga was up 6c to 670, Mainfreight lifted 5c to 625, and Hallenstein Glasson gained 5c to 335. Sky City eased 3c to 285, and Freightways was up 3c to 298.

NZ Oil & Gas was unchanged at 136, Auckland Airport was up 1c to 186, Sky TV eased 2c to 460, Ryman Healthcare gained 1c to 213, Nuplex eased 3c to 290 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare eased 2c to 316.

In the US stocks rallied as investors rushed back into beaten-down shares, led by energy, which bore the brunt of the sell-off a day earlier.

Shares of Halliburton rose 12 per cent after executives said the offshore oil industry had plenty of work even as the Obama administration imposed a six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 2.3 per cent to 10,249.54, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 2.6 per cent to 1098.38, and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 2.6 per cent to 2281.07.

- NZPA