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Don't break your Hong Kong piggy bank, CLSA cautions investors

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Don't break your Hong Kong piggy bank, CLSA cautions investors
FILE PHOTO: Schoolboys perform with Chinese drums as part of a ceremony marking the first day of trade after Lunar New Year at the Hong Kong Exchanges in Hong Kong, China February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo   -   Copyright  Bobby Yip(Reuters)
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By Noah Sin

HONGKONG (Reuters) – Investors should focus on “limiting losses rather than chasing large gains” in the Year of the Pig, which will be a roller-coaster year for Hong Kong’s stock market, according to brokerage CLSA.

The Year of the Pig, which symbolises hard work and affection, will be upset by “small quarrels and pesky spirits”, CSLA said on Wednesday in its annual Feng Shui Index, a tongue-in-cheek financial forecast.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index <.HSI> will dip in the Lunar New Year, which begins on Feb. 5, before “yin metal” and “yang fire” heat up sentiments in May and June, it said.

The market will sour in July and September, CLSA said, but investors should hold out for “a fat end to a lean year” as stocks rocket in November, before tumbling again in December.

The market predictions are built on the five elements in Chinese astrology – wood, metal, earth, fire and water. The new year is the year of the Earth Pig.

Earth industries, such as construction and real estate, are expected to rise through late summer, CLSA said, while tourism, logistics, hospitality and shipping will rise in the second half.

Those investing in Hong Kong’s housing market should avoid buying in the southwest and northwest of the former British colony and focus on the centre, where the Eight White wealth star sits, the brokerage said.

In the stock market, the index is bullish on technology and internet names as the element of fire courses through the Feng Shui chart. Telecoms and utilities will also benefit, CLSA said. Restraint is preferred over metal-related sectors, such as financials and machinery.

The Hang Seng Index has climbed roughly 4.5 percent so far this year. It shed 13.6 percent of its value in 2018, as the U.S.-China trade war and cooling Chinese demand hurt sentiment.

Beyond markets, the Feng Shui Index tipped Kim Yo Jong, the North Korean leader’s sister, to progress in her career, Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten to take over the premiership and “Crazy Rich Asians” star Michelle Yeoh to do well.

CSLA started the Feng Shui Index in 1992, the Year of the Monkey, as a Lunar New Year card for clients.

(Editing by Nick Macfie)

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