* U.S. home resales hit 9-month lows
* Greek bailout extended by four months
* Mainland China shut for Lunar New Year holiday
(Updates prices, adds comment)
By Marcy Nicholson and Clara Denina
NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 23 Gold steadied in choppy
dealings on Monday, bouncing up from a seven-week low as the
dollar pared gains after weaker-than-expected U.S. data raised
doubts about whether the Federal Reserve might raise interest
rates this summer.
Data showed that U.S. home resales dropped to their lowest
level in nine months last month at an annualized rate of 4.82
Spot gold had dropped to its lowest level since Jan.
9 at $1,191.01 an ounce but was flat at $1,201.96 by 2:50 p.m.
EST (1950 GMT). The metal has posted four straight weeks of
declines, dented by a strong dollar, U.S. rate hike expectations
and hopes of a deal between Greece and its lenders.
"The bullish sentiment for gold is just getting sucked out
of the market slowly but surely," said Eli Tesfaye, senior
market strategist for RJO Futures in Chicago.
"Technical vulnerability (is) to the downside."
U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled down
$4.10 at $1,200.80 an ounce.
"The market saw some additional selling this morning on the
back of the Greek deal news but has managed to find some
support," Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.
"$1,220 is really the level we need to move back above to
say that we are through the worst."
Gold fell earlier on Monday after euro zone finance
ministers late on Friday agreed to extend heavily indebted
Greece's financial rescue for four months, which lifted the
dollar and curbed demand for safe-haven assets.
The metal also lacked support from buyers in No. 2 gold
consumer China, where markets have been shut since Wednesday for
the Lunar New Year holiday.
Silver rose 0.4 percent to $16.30 an ounce, while
platinum rose 0.04 percent to $1,162.50 an ounce, turning
up after touching a 5-1/2 year low at $1,150.80 an ounce.
Palladium rose 0.8 percent to $783.25 an ounce.
Key events for gold prices this week could be Fed Chair
Janet Yellen's semiannual address to the Senate Banking
Committee on Wednesday and a raft of U.S. economic data.
"Janet Yellen's testimony ... will be picked over for any
signs of when interest rates are going to rise... Gold is going
to trade on the back of that," Mitsubishi Corp strategist
Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish stance in
gold futures and options for a third straight week, taking it to
a six-week low in the week to Feb. 17, data showed on Friday.
(Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore;
Editing by Keith Weir and Meredith Mazzilli)