The year of the goat may take the Hong Kong stock market on a bumpy ride, CLSA said in its annual feng shui forecast ahead of the Lunar New Year.
"According to the Chinese zodiac goats are harmonious creatures, but be prepared for the typically affable goat to reveal his gruff side this year," CLSA said in its tongue-in-cheek report.
The ancient science of feng shui, aimed at creating balance, is usually used to position objects and in architecture, but the more superstitious believe it can divine the future, sometimes incorporating the 12 Chinese zodiac animals and the five elements of water, metal, fire, wood and earth.
In applying feng shui to the outlook for the year of the wood goat to the Hang Seng Index -- which has an earth rooster sign -- CLSA sees bumps ahead.
"Our favorite Earth Rooster, the Hang Seng Index, will not perform spectacularly this year as the rooster clashes with the goat, causing it to falter," it said, forecasting a "precarious" and volatile path.
"The earth rooster will have some financial entanglements early, peak in the middle and softly touch down," it said.
Not all bad
But not all stocks will perform badly, and CLSA's top sector picks are "cashmere" plays on renewables, commodities and property.