* Euro hurt by concerns ECB may hint about future rate cuts
* Australian dollar benefits from growth data
NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters) - The euro slid against the dollar on Wednesday, a day before a European Central Bank policy-setting meeting, on concerns that the ECB may signal future interest-rate cuts.
The dollar extended gains against the euro and yen on Wednesday after a report showed U.S. private-sector employers added 198,000 jobs in February, another sign of improvement in the labor market.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 170,000 jobs. January's private payrolls were revised up to an increase of 215,000 from the previously reported 192,000..
But while the ADP jobs data was important ahead of the U.S. non-farm payrolls report on Friday, the ECB remained the focus in the nearer term.
The ECB is widely expected to keep policy unchanged at its meeting on Thursday, though President Mario Draghi may use the news conference afterwards to hint at future loosening. Projections for both growth and inflation are likely to be on the low side, giving the central bank room to cut rates in coming months.
"The focus is tomorrow's ECB meeting, where interest rates are expected to remain on hold at 0.75 percent. However, there is wide debate about President Draghi's tone during the press conference," said Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto. "We expect the ECB to ultimately turn more dovish, but that it occurs in April, not tomorrow."
The euro was last down 0.4 percent at $1.3000.
Some US$3.6 billion in euros changed hands, using Reuters Dealing.
The political stalemate in Italy following inconclusive elections is also likely to keep the euro subdued.
"Investors are cautious about the euro before the ECB meeting tomorrow. The euro is still a 'sell' on rallies and any bounce above $1.3105 should be sold into," said Jeremy Stretch, head of currency strategy at CIBC World Markets In London.
The dollar rose 0.4 percent against the yen to 93.64 yen <JPY. The euro was flat on the day at 121.67 yen.
Some US$1.9 billion in yen changed hands, using Reuters Dealing.
The Bank of Japan kicks off its two-day policy-setting meeting on Thursday. The central bank is expected to hold fire this week, and the market's attention is moving to April 3-4, the first policy review under new Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.
Kuroda is expected to be formally appointed as governor after confirmation by parliament. He is an advocate of aggressive monetary easing.
Traders said one increasingly popular strategy is to bet on dollar/yen moving between 90-91 and 95 yen until April 4, using option strategies.
The growth-linked and higher-yielding Australian dollar got a boost from data showing Australia's economy expanded by 0.6 percent in the December quarter, and benefited also from improved risk appetite as the Dow Jones industrial average hit new heights.
The Australian dollar rose 0.1 percent against the U.S. currency to US$1.0263, extending its recovery from an eight-month low touched this week.