Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Investors put stock in feng shui

A man rubs his hand  across a relief sculpture of an ox for good luck on January 21, 2009 at the White Cloud Temple in Beijing.
Investors hope that the Year of the Ox will be less of a rollercoaster ride

Investors burnt by last year's market turmoil can take some hope from the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui.

The upcoming Chinese Year of the Ox is unlikely to be a bull year for stock markets but sage investors will find ways to make money, practitioners say.

Oil prices are expected to begin rising again, while gold could again break through $1,000 an ounce.

The predictions are made in a tongue-in-cheek "Feng Shui Index" report from Hong Kong investment firm CLSA.

The Year of the Ox begins on 26 January, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

Advice

The report also reckons that former US treasury secretary Henry Paulson will become the boss of Citigroup, while Iceland will challenge the Philippine and Indian dominance of the call centre industry as it rebuilds its crisis-ravaged economy.

The report suggests that Hong Kong's Hang Seng index will start the year on a volatile note, fall during the summer, before climbing gradually toward the end of the year.

Many investors and business people in Asia put great stock in advice from feng shui masters.

Office blocks and apartment buildings, as well as furniture, are often positioned according to the ancient art of geomancy to maximise wealth and positive energy.

Barack Obama was born in the Year of the Ox, also known as the cow, in 1961 but this does not mean that an easy year lies ahead for the new president.

"The prospects for cows in this difficult year depend to a great extent on how mentally tough they are," the report said.



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