PRECIOUS-Gold on firm ground; sound technicals offset strong dollar

(Updates prices)

* Dollar index near one-week high

* Silver and platinum slip to lowest in a week

* Gold ETF inflows indicate positive sentiment -analyst

BENGALURU, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Gold edged higher on Thursday, supported by an improved technical outlook after scaling key milestones as the market continued to hold out against a stronger dollar.

Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,224.38 an ounce by 1138 GMT. U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,227.40.

"Overall, we have been technically breaking above the previous highs, so it will be difficult for gold prices to move below that," said ABN AMRO analyst Georgette Boele.

"I think the overall picture has improved."

A global stock market sell-off on Monday added some appeal to gold, helping prices to a two-and-a-half-month peak of $1,233.26.

Gold has also been testing resistance near the 100-day moving average, around $1,226, with some analysts saying a break above that level could trigger further gains.

"The ones getting squeezed now are the shorts," Beole said.

The dollar index held near a one-week high after the U.S. Federal Reserve minutes from its last meeting reiterated a hawkish stance on monetary policy, normally a bearish signal for gold.

"Gold has held its own pretty well, given that the dollar has appreciated considerably. It received support from further ETF (exchange-traded funds) inflows," Commerzbank analysts wrote in a note, adding that sentiment among ETF investors appears to have turned positive.

Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the largest gold-backed ETF, have gained more than 2 percent since Oct. 3.

"Geopolitical and macroeconomic factors are still not indicating exuberance and risk appetite returning to markets with full throttle," said Religare Securities analyst Sugandha Sachdeva.

Trade war concerns, a hawkish Fed and recent tensions between the United States and Saudi Arabia are among factors likely to weigh on appetite for riskier assets. This bodes well for gold as a hedge against market volatility and a portfolio diversifier, Sachdeva added.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and EU national leaders met on Wednesday to discuss how to deal with their only land border, between the British province of Northern Ireland and Ireland, an issue that has stalled Brexit negotiations. In other metals, silver fell 0.5 percent to $14.54 an ounce, having earlier touched its lowest since Oct. 11 at $14.41.

Platinum was down 0.1 percent at $831.10 after hitting a one-week low of $822.75, while palladium gained 0.5 percent to $1,074. (Reporting by Sumita Layek and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala Editing by David Goodman)