* Canadian dollar backs up to 97.03 U.S. cents
* Bonds mildly lower
* Commodities boost Canada's trade surplus in January
* U.S. trade gap narrows
TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar fell against the U.S. greenback on Thursday as a shrinking in the U.S. trade deficit outweighed a series of domestic data that showed the Canadian economy was getting healthier.
At 9:15 a.m. (1415 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.0306 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.03 U.S. cents, down from Wednesday's close at C$1.0259 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.48 U.S. cents.
Canada's trade surplus grew more than expected in January to C$799 million as higher prices for commodities such as gold boosted exports, while imports fell, Statistics Canada said. [ID:nN11146780]
But the focus was on the U.S. trade deficit that shrank to $37.29 billion in January from a revised $39.9 billion in December. Economists were expecting a deficit of $41 billion for the month. [ID:nCAT005132]
"The Canadian trade report looks healthier than the U.S. report (but) the U.S. trade deficit narrowed unexpectedly," said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.
"It could be the market is just focused on the improvement in the U.S. trade balance in the headline number even though the details were fairly weak."
Statistics Canada also said Canadian fourth-quarter capacity use jumped the most in three years, while Canadian new home prices climbed again in January. [ID:nN11204326] [ID:nN11254432]
Canadian government bond prices were mildly lower on Thursday after the data. The two-year Canadian government bondfell 2 Canadian cents to C$99.91 to yield 1.546 percent, while the 10-year bond was off 7 Canadian cents at C$101.60 to yield 3.545 percent.
(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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