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SHANGHAI, March 26 (Reuters) - Chinese stocks ended higher on Thursday after volatile trade as a sharp drop in internet stocks was offset by a surge in energy shares triggered by a rebound in oil prices.
The CSI300 IT Index, which has surged more than 50 percent this year because of Beijing's support for information technology, plunged 3.8 percent.
But energy shares jumped 3 percent, led by oil companies such as PetroChina and Offshore Oil Engineering as oil prices shot up nearly 6 percent after Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab allies started air strikes against rebels in Yemen.
Shares in state-backed shipbuilders China CSSC Holdings and China Shipbuilding Industry Company (CSIC) surged by their 10 percent trading limit to hit record highs after executive swaps at the firms' parent companies raised expectations of a merger.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 0.2 percent to 3,950.00, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6 percent to 3,682.10.
Among the most active stocks in Shanghai were China Shipbuilding, up 10.0 percent to 10.44 yuan, Agricultural Bank Of China, up 0.3 percent to 3.65 yuan, and China State Construction, up 2.6 percent to 7.00 yuan.
In Shenzhen, BOE Technology, down 2.9 percent at 4.01 yuan, TCL Corp, down 2.7 percent at 5.83 yuan, and Suning Appliance, down 4.4 percent at 13.09 yuan, were among the most actively traded.
Total volume of A shares traded in Shanghai was 48.6 billion shares, while Shenzhen volume was 30.7 billion shares. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Alan Raybould)