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Foreign currency reserves up

Hong Kong's foreign currency reserve assets rose to US$423.2 billion in November from October's US$417.2 billion, the Monetary Authority announced today.   The reserve assets represent over five times the currency in circulation or about 42% of Hong Kong dollar M3.   There were no unsettled foreign exchange contracts at the end of November. http://dlvr.it/Sf21yd

Welfare cases up 0.2%

The overall Comprehensive Social Security Assistance caseload rose to 224,895 in December, up 0.2% from November, the Social Welfare Department announced today.   The total number of recipients stood at 319,200.   Low-earnings cases registered a month-to-month decrease of 1% to 2,520 cases while old age cases were down 0.2% to 130,647.   Ill-health cases rose 0.8% to 26,056 cases. Single parent cases were up 0.4% to 24,760 cases while permanent disability cases increased 0.1% to 17,377 cases.   Unemployment cases continued to increase, rising 2.2% on a monthly basis to 19,506 cases. The figure is also an increase of 55.2% compared with December 2019.   The number of applications of unemployment cases increased 12.2% to 1,045 cases in December, representing a 65.1% year-on-year increase.
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124 COVID-19 cases reported

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 124 additional COVID-19 cases. More cases were detected in Kwai Chung Estate. There are also more than 70 preliminary positive cases.   Among the newly reported cases, 33 are related to Kwai Chung Estate, bringing the total number of positive and preliminary positive cases in the estate to 276.   One more positive case was found after an earlier confirmed case occurred at Glory Court, Tsuen Wan Garden, both of them live in units 5 but on two different floors. The centre has co-ordinated with related government departments and conducted an inspection today.    It was preliminarily considered that vertical transmission of virus via pipes is involved.   The centre will issue quarantine orders to residents of unit 5 on all floors of the building who resided there during the incubation period of the relevant cases and transfer them to a quarantine facility.   As it is possible that virus might be ejected from the open