* Stocks gain with U.S. inflation prints as expected

* Bitcoin tracks for 6th day of gains, 45% monthly gain

NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 29 (Reuters) - A global equity index advanced on Thursday after a much anticipated U.S. inflation reading provided little surprise for relieved investors and helped push U.S. Treasury yields lower.

Wall Street's major stock indexes rebounded from the previous session's decline was due to investor jitters ahead of the U.S. personal consumer expenditures (PCE) price index data.

The PCE data, which is the Federal Reserve's

preferred inflation gauge

, showed the annual increase in inflation was the smallest in nearly three years, keeping the possibility of a June interest rate cut from the Fed on the table.

"Today's market movements really reflect a relief that we aren't seeing a re-acceleration in inflation. That's impacted fixed income markets as well as equity markets," said Sid Vaidya, U.S. wealth strategist at TD Wealth.

Investors had been particularly anxious ahead of the PCE data after the most recent consumer price index (CPI) and the producer price index (PPI) data were hotter than expected.

"Markets are actually heaving a bit of a sigh of relief that we didn't get the same type of upside surprises we saw in the earlier inflation readings," said Mona Mahajan, senior investment strategist at Edward Jones in New York.

At 02:54 p.m., the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 54.76 points, or 0.14%, to 38,893.60, the S&P 500 gained 11.86 points, or 0.23%, to 5,081.62 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 78.00 points, or 0.49%, to 16,025.74.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe rose 1.21 points, or 0.16%, to 759.34. After rising earlier in the day, the STOXX 600 index ended Thursday's session unchanged while the German DAX climbed 0.4% to a fresh all-time high after data showed cheaper energy prices slowed inflation down to 2.7% in February.

Elsewhere in Europe, french consumer prices rose at a slower pace but slightly higher than forecasts, while in Spain annual inflation dropped but was in line with expectations.

In U.S. Treasuries, the yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year notes fell 2.6 basis points to 4.248%, from 4.274% late on Wednesday while the 30-year bond yield fell 3.5 basis points to 4.375%. The 2-year note yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, fell 0.9 basis points to 4.6394%, from 4.648%.

In currencies, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, regained lost ground after earlier easing following the data, which soothed worries that price pressures could be seeing a renewed uptick.

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar weakened 0.47% at 149.96 yen after a Bank of Japan (BOJ) official hinted at the need to exit ultra-easy monetary policies there.

The dollar index gained 0.21% at 104.15 while the euro was down 0.33% at $1.08.

Also in focus was bitcoin which was up 1.70% at $61,592.00 and eyeing its sixth daily gain in a row as well as its biggest monthly gain in more than three years. Investors are also waiting to see whether it can return to its late 2021 record high of just under $69,000.

The approval and launch of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the U.S. this year has opened the asset class to new investors and re-ignited the excitement that was sapped when prices collapsed in the "crypto winter" of 2022.

In commodities, oil prices settled down after U.S. data sent mixed signals about the outlook for crude demand from the world's top economy.

U.S. crude settled down 0.36% to $78.26 a barrel and Brent finished at $83.62 per barrel, down 0.07%.

In precious metals, gold scaled a one-month high, boosted by the dollar decline as traders switched their attention from the inflation data and to wait for commentary from Fed officials.

Spot gold added 0.47% to $2,044.27 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.75% to $2,048.30 an ounce.

(Reporting by Sinéad Carew, Marc Jones, Kevin Buckland, editing by Kirsten Donovan, William Maclean and Nick Zieminski)