The New Zealand sharemarket dipped and then recovered as investors contemplated the hung parliament in Australia and awaited more corporate earnings.

Brokers said it was nonetheless a fairly quiet Monday with low volume traded.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 16.372 points, or 0.546 per cent, at 3016.776 after initially opening down around 9.86 points. Turnover was worth $57.3 million. There were 29 rises and 33 falls among the 109 stocks traded.

"Markets don't like uncertainty at all and the Australian situation is uncertain, especially for resource stocks," said Stuart Hardie, an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners

But the market didn't know which way to go and ended up in a kind of limbo.

Fletcher Building, which has a big business in Australia, closed up 10c at 740 after falling 5c in the first few minutes after the market opened.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances rose 1c to 52 after expressing concern about uncertainties in key markets and predicting a profit at the lower end of a consensus range.

Telecom rose 4c to 207, edging back to the three-month high reached on Thursday of 211. Telecom shares eased to close at 203 on Friday after the company reported a 4.5 per cent fall in its bottom line net profit to $380 million, with revenue down 6.5 per cent to $5.27 billion.

Takeover target New Zealand Farming Systems Uruguay was unchanged at 63 after recommending shareholders reject a 55c a share offer from Olam International and hinting there could be a third bidder.

SkyCity rose 7c to 292 and Tourism Holdings rose 1c to 77.

Contact Energy shares lost 3c to 575.

Auckland Airport, which is fighting a challenge to its investment in Queenstown Airport, rose 1c to 196.

Hallenstein Glasson fell 3c to 391 and Cavalier Carpets fell 2c to 263.

Westpac fell 55c to 2780 after reporting earnings in Australia and Tower rose 2c to 188.

Pike River Coal was unchanged at 96 after saying it is loading its second export shipment.

In the United States, stocks fell for a second straight week on persistent concerns the recovery has tapered off.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.6 per cent to 10,213.62, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was off 0.4 per cent to 1071.69, and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.04 per cent to 2179.76.

For the week, the S&P 500 was down 0.7 per cent, the Dow slipped 0.9 per cent, while the Nasdaq gained 0.3 per cent. It was the second week of declines for the S&P and the Dow.

- NZPA