It's a time of beginnings and renewals as the new 12-year astral cycle ushers in the first sign of the Chinese Zodiac, the Rat. All the metal in its chart bodes well for our favourite Earth Rooster, the Hang Seng Index. Late spring and early summer could be a golden patch, with gains and losses in other months.
Reading our forecast is relatively simple. We adopt Li Chun, 4 February, as the traditional spring start to the year. We use a fortune scale to indicate the relative size of the Hang Seng's likely movement each month.
The year begins well. Early on, there may be legal measures that improve business conditions - perhaps the removal of red tape. That will provide a small incentive which will peter out soon enough, as contradictions in market conditions permeate the wider world. No need to get anyone's mazes in a twist, as the following few months should see the Rat join our Rooster for cocktails on a rooftop bar of their choice. Expect gains in all sectors through to the summer. Over the hotter months, the profits are less impressive, but they are there.
As the days lengthen, the relentless heat has the Rat swooning and our Rooster wilting - a too-rich diet and whiskers clogged with cheese send the pair into a sleep coma. In the last quarter, a few rattles of the cage will reawaken our Rooster to finish the year just below the summer high. Not too ratty, we must say.