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PRECIOUS-Gold dips as stocks, dollar strengthen ahead of ECB meeting

* ECB expected to expand asset purchases, pressures euro

* Coming up: ECB interest rate announcement at 1245 GMT

MANILA, March 10 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Thursday below last week’s 13-month high as Asian stocks and the dollar advanced on expectations of more stimulus from the European Central Bank to bolster economies in the euro zone.

The euro was under pressure, with the ECB expected to cut the deposit rate, announce more asset purchases and possibly introduce tiered interest rates like the Bank of Japan in a bid to boost inflation, according to a Reuters poll.

Spot gold was off 0.2 percent at $1,250 an ounce by 0134 GMT, pulling further away from a 13-month peak of $1,279.60 reached on March 4.

U.S. gold for April delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $1,250.80.

“We are not overly concerned about the pullback we saw in the past two days, as we think gold’s uptrend remains intact as long as the metal closes above $1,246,” technical analysts at ScotiaMocatta wrote.

“In our view, gold will likely consolidate here before taking a swing at $1,307,” a level last seen in January 2015, they said.

Gold had benefitted from low expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would lift interest rates at its policy meeting next week despite a recent raft of robust economic data including last week’s forecast-beating employment report.

Headwinds in the global economy are likely to deter U.S. policymakers from raising interest rates soon after hiking them in December as central banks elsewhere ease policy to boost their shaky economies, analysts say.

Asian stocks edged up after New Zealand surprised markets with a rate cut, keeping investors primed for more stimulus from the ECB later in the day.

Spot silver slipped 0.2 percent to $15.26 an ounce, platinum dropped 0.6 percent to $972.25 and palladium eased 0.5 percent to $560.50.

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Pullin

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