* ECB revises up growth forecasts
* Keeps easy money pledge
* Most euro zone bond yields nudge higher
* Euro zone periphery govt bond yields http://tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr
LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Euro zone government bond yields rose on Thursday after upbeat U.S. and European data and upward revisions to growth forecasts from the European Central Bank forced bond markets onto the defensive.
The ECB raised growth and inflation forecasts for the euro area on Thursday but stuck to its pledge to provide stimulus for as long as needed, predicting inflation would remain below its near 2 percent target into 2020.
That easy money pledge lent some support to peripheral bond markets, with the premium investors demand for holding 10-year Spanish and Portuguese government bonds over top-rated German peers narrowing around 4 basis points from the previous day.
"Our take from the conference was that the growth forecasts have been revised upwards quite significantly, but the inflation is still very stubbornly low, even for 2020," said Kim Liu, senior fixed income strategist at ABN AMRO.
"The growth variations have actually sparked a positive momentum in credit spreads, it has shown most significantly in peripheral bond markets spreads, you actually see Spain, Italy, tightening versus Bunds."
Most bond yields across the euro area spent most of the day higher, with Germany's 10-year bond yield up as much as 3 basis points after the ECB raised its growth forecasts from this year through to 2019.
The ECB kept its key rates on hold and also held rigidly to its script on its intentions for next year - when it will cut monthly asset purchases by half starting in January.
While that "lower-for-longer" stance has underpinned bond markets, a stronger tone to economic data has dented their appeal.
Earlier on Thursday, IHS Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the euro zone showed that businesses across the bloc were ending 2017 on a near seven-year high.
That was followed later on by stronger-than-forecast U.S. retail sales numbers that supported the view of solid economic growth in the fourth quarter and further rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
U.S. Treasury yields were 3 bps higher on the day at 2.38 percent.
Elsewhere, Greece's 10-year government bond yield dipped to around 4.15 percent, its lowest level since early January 2008 as investors continued to snap up Greek debt following a recent agreement with creditors and upbeat economic data.
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(Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; editing by Andrew Roche)