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Hong Kong’s Foreign Currency Reserve Assets Reach $417.2 Billion in May 2024 | IDOs News

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Hong Kong has reported a significant growth in its official foreign currency reserve assets, reaching a total of US$417.2 billion at the end of May 2024, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). This marks an increase from the US$416.4 billion recorded at the end of April 2024.

Details of the Reserve Assets

The HKMA revealed that when including unsettled foreign exchange contracts, the total foreign currency reserve assets amounted to US$417.0 billion by the end of May 2024. The increase in reserves underscores Hong Kong’s robust financial stability and its ability to manage external economic pressures.

Notably, the total foreign currency reserve assets represent more than five times the currency in circulation in Hong Kong. Additionally, these reserves account for approximately 39% of Hong Kong dollar M3, a broad measure of the money supply.

Commitment to Transparency

The HKMA issues four press releases each month related to the Exchange Fund’s data, in line with its commitment to transparency and adherence to the International Monetary Fund’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). These releases include information on international reserves, analytical accounts of the central bank, and the Exchange Fund’s abridged balance sheet and currency board account.

For June 2024, the scheduled dates for these press releases are:







7 June SDDS International Reserves (Latest Foreign Currency Reserve Assets Figures)
14 June SDDS Analytical Accounts of the Central Bank (Analytical Accounts of the Exchange Fund)
28 June SDDS Template on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity
28 June Exchange Fund Abridged Balance Sheet and Currency Board Account

Context and Implications

The steady increase in Hong Kong’s foreign currency reserves is a positive indicator of the region’s economic resilience. This comes at a time when global financial markets are experiencing heightened volatility due to various macroeconomic factors. Hong Kong’s ability to maintain and grow its reserves suggests that it is well-prepared to navigate potential economic challenges.

According to Hong Kong Monetary Authority, these figures are crucial for sustaining confidence in the region’s monetary system and ensuring financial stability. Analysts believe that the robust reserve levels will help Hong Kong mitigate risks associated with capital outflows and currency fluctuations.

The HKMA’s proactive approach in providing regular updates on the financial health of the region is likely to foster investor confidence and maintain market stability. As global economic conditions continue to evolve, the transparency and responsiveness of financial authorities like the HKMA will play a critical role in shaping future economic outcomes.

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ETF Outflows and Market Pressures: Is a Bottom for Bitcoin (BTC) Near? | IDOs News

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The cryptocurrency market is currently experiencing a state of uncertainty, with Bitcoin (BTC) nearing higher timeframe range lows on daily, weekly, and monthly charts. Additionally, there is a downtrend in lower timeframe charts, ranging from one-minute to 15-minute intervals, according to Bitfinex Alpha.

Market Pressures and ETF Outflows

One of the significant factors contributing to this uncertainty is the substantial supply overhang in the market. This was highlighted by the recent sale of seized BTC by the German government, which has added additional pressure. Other notable sources of overhang include Mt. Gox creditors and Bitcoin miners.

Furthermore, US spot Bitcoin ETFs have been contributing to negative sentiment. Last week alone saw outflows totaling $544.1 million. However, these outflows were primarily linked to basis/funding arbitrage unwinding rather than genuine sentiment towards BTC. Historically, large sell-offs in ETFs often coincide with local bottoms in Bitcoin prices, as noted in previous editions of Bitfinex Alpha.

Volatility and Market Capitalization

The total cryptocurrency market capitalization has also seen a decline. A pattern has emerged where Thursdays and Fridays have become high-volatility days. Last week, the peak-to-trough decline during these days was approximately five percent, which is significant for Bitcoin. Historically, such movements often signal at least a local low, presenting potential buying opportunities for traders.

However, the market remains in a wait-and-watch mode. Near-term scenarios could either see continued pressure from BTC overhang sales or a positive shift in sentiment, possibly sparked by Ethereum ETF approvals, which could renew interest in altcoins.

Macroeconomic Indicators

On the macroeconomic front, the US economy is showing signs of cooling, as reflected in several key economic indicators. The latest Leading Economic Index report indicated declining consumer optimism due to persistent inflation and high interest rates, predicting a slowdown in the third and fourth quarters of 2024. Despite this, the job market is showing signs of stability, with initial jobless claims experiencing a modest decline last week.

Significant strain is also evident in the housing market, with housing starts in May plummeting to their lowest level since June 2020. Despite these challenges, retail sales showed modest but positive growth, suggesting resilience among consumers, although the growth is slower than expected.

The industrial sector remains a bright spot, continuing to grow and potentially stabilizing the overall economy. If the trends of cooling economic growth and inflation persist, the Federal Reserve may consider a rate cut in September.

Future Outlook

Markets are becoming increasingly optimistic about inflation. The Fed’s five-year forward, five-year break-even rate is comfortably at 2.19%, close to the Fed’s two percent target. With jobless claims inching upwards, housing starts slowing, and retail sales growing less quickly, a reduction in interest rates could provide a welcome stimulus for the economy.

In recent crypto news, the German government’s sale of over $195 million worth of Bitcoin contributed to last Friday’s decline in BTC. Leading ETF providers, such as BlackRock, VanEck, and Franklin Templeton, are preparing to launch Ethereum ETFs, which could impact market sentiment positively.

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Google Unveils New AI Tools for Workspace for Education | IDOs News

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Google has announced the release of new AI tools for its Google Workspace for Education, including the introduction of Gemini, aimed at enhancing learning experiences for teen students. This move is part of Google’s broader commitment to making AI helpful in educational settings and beyond, according to blog.google.

Helping Teen Students Learn Responsibly with Gemini

Google’s new AI tool, Gemini, is designed to prepare teens with the skills and tools necessary to thrive in a future where generative AI (GenAI) plays a significant role. Gemini offers guided support, in-the-moment assistance, practice materials, and real-time feedback, aiming to build students’ confidence and creativity.

Last year, Google introduced a responsible Gemini experience for teens using their personal Google Accounts. This initiative was developed in consultation with child safety and development experts to ensure safety and reliability. Building on this foundation, Google has continued to partner with learning science experts and youth advisory panels to enhance the tool’s safety and effectiveness.

Enhanced Safety Measures and Data Protection

Google has committed to extra data protection for all education users, ensuring that data from chats will not be used to improve AI models. This initiative is part of Google’s effort to bring AI technology to students responsibly.

In the coming months, Gemini will be made available to teen students who meet Google’s minimum age requirements while using their Google Workspace for Education accounts. This service will be free of charge for all educational institutions in over 100 countries. To maintain control, Gemini will be off by default for teens until school administrators choose to activate it through the Admin console.

Features for a Safe and Effective Learning Experience

Google has implemented several features to ensure a responsible and useful experience for younger students:

  • Gemini is tuned to identify and prevent the display of inappropriate content, such as illegal or age-restricted substances.
  • The tool includes a double-check response feature, which cross-references content across the web to substantiate its responses, promoting information literacy and critical thinking skills.
  • An AI Literacy video endorsed by ConnectSafely and FOSI is included in the teen-friendly onboarding process, offering tips on responsible AI usage.
  • The Learning Coach, a custom version of Gemini powered by LearnLM, will provide step-by-step study guidance and practice activities like quizzes and games.
  • Extensions from OpenStax and Data Commons will offer information from trusted sources to aid student learning.

These initiatives reflect Google’s ongoing commitment to integrating AI in education responsibly, equipping students with the tools and knowledge necessary for an AI-driven future.

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Creating Your First GitHub Repository: A Beginner’s Guide | IDOs News

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Creating a GitHub repository is a crucial first step for anyone looking to manage projects using Git. According to The GitHub Blog, the third installment of their ‘GitHub for Beginners’ series offers a comprehensive guide on how to create and manage your first repository.

What is a repository?

A repository, or repo, is a fundamental element of GitHub and Git. It’s a space where project files live, allowing for version control and collaboration. Think of it as a project folder that tracks changes, stores history, and lets multiple people work together seamlessly.

How to Create a Repository

After creating an account on GitHub, navigate to your dashboard and click the green “Create repository” button. This takes you to a page where you can enter a repository name, select an owner, add a description, and choose between making the project public or private. You can also initialize your project with a README file, which provides essential information about the project, including its purpose, usage instructions, and details on contributors.

What’s a README?

A README file serves as an introductory guide for visitors, helping them understand and utilize the project effectively. It includes essential information about the project, such as its purpose, usage instructions, and how to get started. For a detailed guide on README files, visit the GitHub documentation.

Choosing a License

A license tells others what they can and can’t do with your source code. For example, the MIT License is a permissive license that allows anyone to use your code as they wish. Choosing the right license is essential for setting the terms under which others can use, modify, and share your project. For more information on licenses, visit choosealicense.com.

Forking a Repository

Forking creates a copy of an existing repository, allowing you to work on and modify it independently. This is particularly useful when you want to contribute to an open-source project. For more details, check out the GitHub documentation on forks.

What is .gitignore?

A .gitignore file is used to tell Git which files or directories to ignore in a project. This is useful for excluding files that are not necessary for the project to function, such as temporary files or files containing sensitive information. You can generate a .gitignore file based on your project needs at gitignore.io.

Main Features of a GitHub Repository

GitHub repositories come with various features to enhance collaboration and project management, including:

  • Issues: Track bugs or tasks.
  • Projects: Organize tasks in Kanban-style boards.
  • Pull requests: Merge changes from different branches or forks.
  • Wikis: Create detailed documentation.

Repository Settings

In the repository settings, you can manage collaborators, set up actions for continuous integration or deployment, and configure security settings and access controls. This is also where you can enable and disable repository features.

Your Next Steps with GitHub Repositories

With your first repository set up, you’re now ready to explore its features and start collaborating on your projects. For any questions, visit the GitHub Community thread.

For more resources, you can check out related posts on the GitHub Blog, such as Top 12 Git Commands Every Developer Must Know and What is Git? A Beginner’s Guide to Version Control.

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