May 19, 2017 / 1:29 PM / in 6 months

UPDATE 1-Russian gold reserves at 54.2 mln oz as of May 1 -

 (Adds details, context)
    MOSCOW, May 19 (Reuters) - Russia's central bank, which is
seeking to diversify the country's international reserves,
posted an increase in its gold reserves in April for the fourth
consecutive month.
    The central bank, one of the world's largest holders of
bullion, has been regularly buying gold amid weaker oil prices
and Western sanctions imposed over Moscow's role in the Ukraine
    Russia's gold reserves rose to 54.2 million troy ounces by
early May from 54.0 million ounces as of April 1, the central
bank said on Friday.
    The value of its holdings rose to $68.65 billion from $67.57
billion as of April 1.
    Russia's central bank, which usually buys locally produced
gold from Russian banks, has been one of the leading national
buyers of gold in recent years, along with China.

 (Reporting by Polina Devitt; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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