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Markets should be wary of the Year of the Rooster's crow, feng shui masters say

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Markets should be wary of the Year of the Rooster's crow, feng shui masters say

Any opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not represent the views of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Superstitious followers of the financial markets may be wary of years ending with "7," as years past have seen some serious upheaval.

Economies are still wrangling with the aftershocks of the financial market turbulence that began in 2007, while the 1997 Asian financial crisis had raised fears of a global economic meltdown. Even further back, collapses in stock prices on Black Monday in 1987 led to reverberations around the world.

However, Louie Shum Chun-ying, CEO of Hong Kong-based Sincere Securities Ltd. and an expert in feng shui matters, attributes the shockwaves to the financial markets to the "ding" celestial stem in the Chinese zodiac, rather than the number "7."

Years in the Chinese calendar belong to a 60-year cycle, with each year comprising a sky "stem" and an earth "branch" pair.

For instance, the year beginning with the Lunar New Year is the "ding you" year, made up of the "ding" celestial stem and the "you" earth branch. The years 1987, 1997 and 2007 also carried the "ding" stem.

"The sky stem being 'ding' is 70% unfavorable for the equities market, but of course we also need to see the earth stem that it matches with... We often see a sharp rise followed by a change in direction in the stock market for years with the earth stem 'you,'" Shum said.

A crisis in the financial markets this year could be on a global scale, based on the celestial and earth pairing, he added.

Shum advised investors to be cautious, especially after August, when the season changes from summer to fall. The metal element, associated with fall, will become too strong and thus unfavorable for the equities market, he said.

Meanwhile, CLSA Ltd.'s tongue-in-cheek Feng Shui Index made its annual forecast for the Hong Kong benchmark Hang Seng Index, an Earth Rooster, earlier in the month.

According to the Chinese zodiac, the upcoming Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the Fire Rooster year, a close relative to the Hong Kong index.

"In 2017, after scratching aimlessly for the first couple of months, the Hang Seng claws its way upwards, to rule the roost around July/August. After a few ups and downs, by November/December the Earth Rooster loses his grip, but still manages to end the year on a higher perch overall," the brokerage said.