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UPDATE 1-German 2-year bond yields touch 6-1/2 month high, focus on ECB

(Updates throughout)

* German 2-year bond yields touch 6-1/2 month highs

* Markets mostly stable ahead of ECB Nowotny speech

* US 2-year Treasury yields at highest since 2008

* Euro zone periphery govt bond yields http://tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Germany's 2-year government bond yield touched its highest level in more than 6 months on Wednesday, as bond investors position for a possible change in the European Central Bank's ultra-easy monetary policy stance in the months ahead.

Analyst expectations for an ECB interest-rate hike in the middle of next year are roughly in line with the ECB's own guidance, German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said in an interview published late on Tuesday.

That put some upward pressure on short-dated bond yields, although markets were mostly stable with focus already turning to the next ECB speaker - Ewald Nowotny, who is scheduled to speak later on Wednesday.

The ECB's Vitor Constancio said in an interview published on Wednesday he did not rule out that monetary policy would still continue to be "very accommodating for a long time".

Bond markets are showing an increased sensitivity to ECB commentary as investors try to asses just when the central bank will end its 2.55 trillion euro asset purchase scheme and move towards raising interest rates.

On Tuesday, bond yields across the bloc fell after a report that the bank is unlikely to ditch a pledge to keep buying bonds at next week's meeting.

Last week, minutes from the ECB meeting suggesting policy makers may tweak their policy message in early 2018 had rattled markets.

"At the moment markets are very sensitive to comments from ECB speakers," said Commerzbank strategist Rainer Guntermann.

"What's changing is that the ECB commentary is turning a bit more balanced now."

In early Wednesday trade, the 2-year German Schatz yield briefly touched minus 0.57 percent, its highest level in around 6-1/2 months.

Most 10-year bond yields were flat to a touch lower on the day, although southern European bond yields crept higher .

U.S. short-dated bond yields rose to 2.039 percent , their highest since 2008, continuing to march higher on expectations for a pick up in inflation and interest rates.

The Bank of Canada is expected to lift its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 percent on Wednesday, highlighting that major central banks are in the process of unwinding the extraordinary monetary policies put in place in after the financial crisis.

Final euro zone inflation numbers for December are due later in the session, while Germany is scheduled to sell 30-year bonds.

(Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; Editing by Toby Chopra)