(Recasts, adds comment and updates prices)
* Dollar firms near highest level of the year
* Volatile October amid energy crunch could support gold- analyst
Oct 1 (Reuters) – Gold eased on Friday as the dollar firmed on bets for interest rate hikes, but bullion still held above the pivotal $1,750 technical support level en route to a small weekly gain as worries about rising inflation and growth hurt risk sentiment.
Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,751.95 per ounce by 0844 GMT. U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,752.60.
The dollar held close to its highest level of the year, making gold more expensive in other currencies.
But bullion was still up about 0.1% on the week as a retreat in the dollar on Thursday helped it bounce about 2%.
“Even though it doesn’t feel and look like it, gold has actually had a phenomenally strong week,” considering the strong moves in the dollar and yields, the “normal negative drivers”, Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said.