Telecom's share price rose on good volume today, helping to lift the New Zealand sharemarket on a day in which it had a weak lead from offshore markets.

Telecom rose 4c to 222 to be the standout performer in an otherwise typically quiet Monday market.

"Some of it has to do with foreign buying in the local market and Telecom is one of our largest stocks," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

Investors were interested in investing in countries with a high currency and were starting to feel there was some growth in Telecom down the track, he said

"Telecom has been very weak for a long time now. People are looking at the fundamentals and it doesn't look that bad," he said.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 17.643 points, or 0.533 per cent, at 3328.227.

Cavalier Carpets eased 10c to 310 after telling shareholders at its annual meeting that it was enjoying good market conditions in Australia but overall difficult market conditions caused it to leave an interim dividend declared today unchanged at 3c a share.

AMP rose 35c to 715 after and it and France's AXA SA came up with an offer for AXA Asia Pacific that delivers the company's Australian and New Zealand Business to AMP.

Pike River Coal rose a cent to 96 after telling shareholders it was being more realistic about its forecasts.

Infrastructure investor Infratil rose 2c to 190 ahead of its interim result announcement tomorrow.

On a day in which September quarter retail sales were higher than expected, Michael Hill rose 1c to 81, and Hellaby Holdings, which owns retailers, rose 2c to 197. The Warehouse was unchanged at 388.

Steel & Tube eased 9c to 230, Methven eased 4c to 181 and Rakon eased 2c to 126.

NZX eased 3c to 151. Xero was unchanged at 195.

In the US, Wall Street ended a five-week winning streak on Friday as the threat of rising interest rates in China prompted investors to book profits and reassess bullish positions in equities.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 90.52 points, or 0.80 per cent, to 1119, the S&P 500 index slid 1.18 per cent to 14.33 points and the Nasdaq dropped 1.46 per cent to 2518.

- NZPA