The year of the wooden goat is not expected to be fruitful for investors, according to readings made by equity brokerage CLSA based on the art of feng shui. As the lunar new year arrives in the coming weeks, the firm says the Hang Seng Index will only reap modest returns.

Publishing its 21st annual tongue-in-cheek feng shui index, CLSA noted that its theories are based on the logic of the bazi, the four pillars of destiny that determines a person’s destiny, as calculated by their time and date of birth. Indeed, the Hang Seng Index, born on November 24, 1969, has its future fate set, based on the characteristics of an earth rooster.

In the first half of the lunar year, China property, certain commodities and retail-related plays will do well in February and March. Renewable energy and transport will take the lead from May to July.

However, the goat would be advised to stay away from financials from February to July. Utilities, technology, retail and internet firms will turn volatile around July. Metals will take a hit, while financials and transport will underperform as April approaches.

But as goats reach the top of the mountain in July, they are free to roam downhill for fresh pastures.  This would be the time that metal and fire elements may re-emerge. Cars, electronics, silver and gold are expected to excel, and even lacklustre oil and gas markets will perform well.

All in all, this year could prove volatile yet fruitful for earth-related industries, despite wood constraining the power of earth. China investments such as mainland properties, as well as renewables and commodities, could harvest good returns.

And with wood feeding fuel to fire, industries related to elements and metals should perform well. On that list are hotels, jewellery, gold and silver, cars, electronics and even oil and gas.

Previous goat years have been kind to the Hang Seng. Despite global turmoil from the oil crisis in the wake of the Iranian Revolution, the year of the earth goat in 1979 saw the Hang Seng Index nearly doubling from 500 to 963 points.

Following this was the metal goat of 1991, which saw the city’s benchmark index start the year at 3,400 to hit 4,700 points by the start of Chinese New Year in 1992.

The water goat took hold during Chinese New Year in 2003. Despite coinciding with the Hong Kong outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, also known as Sars, the Hang Seng bottomed out in April, but made a recovery several months later.