CLSA’s Feng Shui Index: Laugh all the shui to the bank

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Long-time watchers of Hong Kong brokerage are quite familiar with CLSA’s annual Feng Shui Index, which uses Chinese feng shui principles to predict movements of the Hang Seng Index. It’s a bit of fun, but has on occasions been unnervingly accurate, and Hong Kongers – never above a bit of superstition in their approach to investment – have tended to seek it out with a mixture of curiosity and faith. This year is a particularly good one to look at, since we’re entering the year of the dragon – which is unpredictable, energetic and a game-changer, but also arrogant, fiery and intolerant, CLSA says. Sound familiar? If the dragon seems a lot like world markets, then you might be interested to know that feng shui tells us the Hang Seng Index will continue to fall until August before soaring swiftly thereafter and finishing the year well above where it started. Still, true believers know it’s not just about what’s happening around you but when you were born, which has some interesting knock-on effects for world leaders. For Xi Jinping – born in June 1953, making him a water snake – CLSA is troubled to find that despite the assumption he will this year become China’s next general secretary and then president, “there is little in Xi’s charts to indicate a major change of fortune”. For Rahul Gandhi, tipped as an Indian prime minister, his June 1970 birth (metal dog) is not promising. “Metal dogs tend to take betrayal to heart, which makes his decision to join the political fray seem akin to a vegetarian getting a job at an abattoir”.

And we should all look closely at the forecast for Angela Merkel – born in July 1954, making her a wood horse. For her, CLSA concludes: “This threatens to be a shocker of a year.”