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* C$ at C$1.0278 versus US$, or 97.30 U.S. cents * Weak Chinese data seen as distorted, limits effect * Dearth of Canadian data turns focus to U.S. numbers By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar ticked stronger versus the U.S. dollar on Monday, brushing off weak Chinese data after the positive North American jobs report of last week. China reported over the weekend that annual industrial production for January and February combined was 9.9 percent - the lowest level since October 2012 - while its consumer price index had risen more than expected last month. "Chinese data was the most significant thing so far we've seen this week, but people clearly recognize it's very distorted by the Lunar New Year. It hasn't really had much of an effect," said Greg Moore, a foreign exchange strategist at TD Securities. At 8:54 a.m. (1254 GMT) the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.0278 to the greenback, or 97.30 U.S. cents, compared with C$1.0291, or 97.17 U.S. cents, at Friday's North American close. The currency was given a shot in the arm on Friday by twin employment reports that showed both Canada and the United States, its main trading partner, adding a healthy number of new jobs in February. With no domestic data in the pipeline and many traders away from their desks during the March school break, movement may be subdued this week. "It may fall to U.S. data to drive direction this week," Moore said, pointing to upcoming retail sales and inflation readings. Without an external shock to prod it, the Canadian would likely stay between C$1.0340 and C$1.0230, he said. Prices for Canadian government debt were flat to slightly higher across the curve. The two-year bond was unchanged to yield 0.984 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond added 5 Canadian cents to yield 1.929 percent.