Year of the Snake—Good for Banks, Bad for Oil?
Assistant Producer, CNBC
The Great Depression in 1929, the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 and the dot-com bubble bursting in 2001 — all these events happened during the year of the snake. So, should we be worried about what 2013 — the latest Chinese Year of the Black Water Snake — has in store for us?
The annual Feng Shui Index brought out by Asian brokerage CLSA gives some clues. The index in its 19th year takes a "tongue-in-cheek" look at what the celestial signs suggest could be the fate of Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, key sectors and other markets. The forecasts are based on the views of a group of Feng Shui masters and on the brokerage's own analysis.
While previous "skin-shedder" years were marked by major transformation, even great upheaval, there are signs that this year's "beast" will be better behaved, Mariana Kou, consumer analyst at CLSA said.
"We are expecting a pretty good first half supported by earth and metal rising, peaking out in July," Kou told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday. "Going into the second half we're expecting the fundamental elements we're seeing in the Feng Shui perspective to go a bit out of balance, so we're expecting a big volatility in the second half."
(Read More: The Chinese Consumer Could Define Year of Snake)
Sectors traditionally associated with metal like banking and financial services will outperform on Hong Kong's Hang Seng index this year, along with water-related industries like tourism and gaming.
While it may be a "so-so" year for earth-related resources overall, Kou said to watch out between May and July, "we believe that resources would be the sector that will be driving the rally in the first half." She predicts iron ore will outperform.
Suffering Snake Bite
On the not so lucky side of the zodiac will be fire related sectors like utilities, oil and gas and telecom, according to Kou. The report says events like global power-grid failures with solar storms could happen in August, pressuring the sectors.
But despite a volatile second half with swings in both directions, a "decent rise" in the final month of the year should take the Hang Seng full circle and back above where it started, the index predicts.
The Hang Seng is up over 2 percent so far this year and gained nearly 23 percent in 2012.
—By CNBC.com's Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani; Follow her on Twitter @RajeshniNaidu