Let $f:X \to X$ ($X = R^d$ for some $d$) be a mapping such that $f^n (x) \to x^\ast$ for all $x \in X$ as $n \to \infty$ ($x^\ast$ is unique). Can we say anything about the spectral structure of the gradient matrix $\nabla f (x^\ast)$ ? Do we know that the spectral or the operator norm of this matrix is less than one?

I think this is a counterexample to what you are asking. Choose a smooth function $a : R \to R$ with $a(0) = 0$, $a(x) = a(x)$, $a(x) = x^2$ near $x = 0$, $a(x)$ monotonically increasing for $x > 0$, and $a(x)$ everywhere less than $1$. Then if we let $f(x) := (1  a(x)) x$ we have $f'(0) = 1$, but $f^n(x)$ converges to $0$ for all $x$. This is because $f^n(x)$ is monotonic and bounded, and so approaches a limit, which must be a fixed point and so can only be $0$. 

