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UPDATE 1-Euro zone bonds hit highs on prospect of tighter policy globally

* German yields track US Treasury and Gilt yields higher

* ECB expected to announce gradual withdrawal of stimulus

* Ifo survey shows pick up in business confidence in October

* Euro zone periphery govt bond yields http://tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr (Writes through)

LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Euro zone government bond yields rose on Wednesday as the prospect of higher interest rates in Britain and the United States piled pressure on a market already bracing for the withdrawal of ECB stimulus.

Germany's 10-year government bond yield, the benchmark for the region, hit a close to three-week high of 0.49 percent, up a basis point on the day and 3 bps off the day's lows. Most other euro zone bond yields also reversed early falls and were broadly higher on the day.

The move higher comes a day ahead of a key European Central Bank meeting. Ratesetters are expected to signal a reduction in their bond-buying scheme as the bank makes a gradual withdrawal from post-crisis stimulus.

Speculation about the next Federal Reserve chief and stronger-than-expected UK economic growth data added to upward pressure on bond yields.

"The key upcoming events are the ECB meeting and the new Fed chair, and we have had a decent Ifo as well," said Rabobank strategist Lyn Graham Taylor, referring to the Munich-based Ifo economic institute's survey, which showed a rise in business confidence in October.

"Also, gilts have sold off more than everything else, so that may be adding to it as well," he added.

U.S. Treasury yields hit a seven-month high of 2.45 percent on Wednesday morning on the prospect of U.S. President Donald Trump appointing a hawkish Federal Reserve chief.

The UK's 10-year borrowing costs also spiked 5 bps to 1.40 percent as Britain's economy unexpectedly picked up speed in the three months to September, putting the Bank of England firmly on track to raise interest rates next week for the first time a decade.

The rise in yields helped Germany's debt agency generate strong demand for a 3 billion euro sale of 10-year Bunds, an encouraging sign ahead of Thursday's ECB meeting.

Rising inflation expectations suggest that the ECB has reason to start withdrawing stimulus -- a key gauge of euro zone inflation expectations hit a seven-month high.

Most analysts expect the ECB to trim asset purchases to 30 billion euros a month from 60 billion euros from January for nine months, following recent source-based stories suggesting ratesetters favour a "lower for longer" scenario.

Southern European government bonds, seen as most sensitive to any tightening of monetary policy, moved largely in pace with better-rated peers, suggesting the market is not expecting any significant shocks to the hawkish side.

For Reuters Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=http://emea1.apps.cp.extranet.thomsonreuters.bi z / c m s / ? p a g e I d = l i v e m a r k e t s

(Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan; Editing by Richard Balmforth)