* Dollar eases vs yen after earlier nearing 160 yen

* Fed's favored inflation index looms large this week

* US presidential debate, French elections on horizon

NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) - Global stock indexes mostly rose on Monday ahead of a key U.S. inflation reading due this week, while the dollar eased slightly against the yen from levels that put investors on alert for Japanese intervention.

The dollar earlier tested the 160-yen barrier. Japan's top currency official Masato Kanda said authorities will take appropriate steps if there is excessive foreign exchange movement, and that the addition of Japan to the U.S. Treasury's monitoring list would not restrict their actions.

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was last down 0.07% at 159.68. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.38% to 105.48. The euro was up 0.38% at $1.0732.

Investors hope to get more clues about the Federal Reserve's next steps as it attempts to fight inflation without hurting the economy too much.

The U.S. personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index is due on Friday. Annual growth in the core index is expected to slow in May.

Investors also will be looking at first-quarter gross domestic product estimates, released on Thursday.

"The biggest worry for the market is any whiff of stagflation. In other words, a cooling economy with inflation climbing higher," said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist, LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Market participants are still expecting about two rate cuts this year, pricing in an over-60% chance of a 25-basis-point cut in September, according to LSEG's FedWatch.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 285.12 points, or 0.73%, to 39,436.28, the S&P 500 gained 0.55 points, or 0.01%, to 5,465.02 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 117.82 points, or 0.66%, to 17,571.73.

Shares in chip maker Nvidia were down, extending recent losses.

"Every time we've seen significant profit taking, we've seen dip-buyers coming in and just pushing it back up higher," Krosby said.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe rose 1.74 points, or 0.22%, to 802.99. The STOXX 600 index climbed 0.73%. Japan's Nikkei closed up 0.5%.

Investors will also be watching for the first U.S. presidential debate on Thursday and the start of the French election on Sunday.

U.S. President Joe Biden heads into the debate with rival Donald Trump armed with new immigration and border policies that his backers hope will boost his standing among sceptical voters.

France's far-right National Rally (RN) party and its allies are seen leading the first round of the parliamentary election with 35.5% of the vote, according to a poll published on Sunday.

In Treasuries, the yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year notes dipped 0.5 basis points to 4.252%, from 4.257% late on Friday.

U.S. crude futures gained 90 cents to settle at $81.63 a barrel and Brent rose 77 cents to $86.01.

(Additional reporting by Amanda Cooper in London and Wayne Cole in Sydney; editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Mark Heinrich and Sharon Singleton)