Our Feng Shui Index picked the falls in 1994, but our optimism got the better of us in a poor year! The Water Dog rained on the parade in 1982 counter to the Metal and Fire Dogs' stellar performances in 1970 and 2006.

2006 Fire Dog

In the first half of the year, the index let sleeping dogs lie. Someone went to see a man about a dog. In the second half, it was as if they'd let the dog see the rabbit and the index wagged like a dog with two tails! The Fire Dog put on a show and had his day, running with the hounds. Between July and January, the Hang Seng rose nearly a third: no howling at the moon here, the year ended with the index as fit as a Jack Russell.

  • 13 Feb: The 60th anniversary of Cathay Pacific Airlines' founding
  • 27 May: The Yogyakarta earthquake kills nearly 6,000 people in Indonesia
  • 25 Jun: Warren Buffett donates more than US$30bn to the Gates Foundation
  • 1 Jul: First parade by PLA soldiers in Hong Kong
  • 15 Jul: Twitter launched
  • 24 Aug: Pluto loses planetary status
  • 19 Sep: A coup d'état removes Thaksin Shinawatra government in Thailand
  • 27 Oct: ICBC bank lists in Hong Kong
  • 5 Nov: Saddam Hussein sentenced to death
  • 25 Dec: Death of American singer James Brown

1994 Wood Dog

Someone had the wood on this one and hounded it like a mangy dog. It yowled like a lost puppy at the beginning and end of the year, dragging the beloved Hang Seng into its dog-eared, down-at-heel kennel. True enough, it poked its wet, snuffly nose out for a few months during the middle of the year and slurped down a few morsels of chum. They say a barking dog never bites, but by year's end that bear dog was whimpering in the corner.

  • 4 Mar: Linux 1 operating system released
  • 20 Apr: The USA and China get their first internet link
  • 8 May: Taiwanese climber Shih Fang-fang is lost descending Everest
  • 10 May: Nelson Mandela becomes President of South Africa
  • 8 Jul: Death of Kim Il-sung, first leader of North Korea
  • 17 Jul: End of the Rawandan Civil War
  • 5 Aug: First protests against Castro in Cuba since 1959
  • 4 Nov: First conference on the World Wide Web begins in San Francisco
  • 14 Dec: Construction begins at the Three Gorges Dam in China
  • 1 Jan: The beginning of the WTO

1982 Water Dog

We all know that dogs love the ocean, but someone threw in a stick that was too heavy and this mutt got its long coat wet and sank without a trace. Perhaps towards the end of the year a golden retriever turned up on the beach and set about living up to its name. But overall it was a year to be in the doghouse, with the index losing more than a third of its value in the second half.

  • 30 Jan: The first computer virus is released as a joke
  • 28 Feb: Adobe Systems founded
  • 2 Apr: Argentina begins the Falklands War
  • 29 May: Torrential rain in Hong Kong kills 29 people
  • 6 Jun: Israel invades Lebanon
  • 27 Sep: Margaret Thatcher meets Zhao Ziyang and the Hang Seng drops
  • 20 Nov: Liao Chengzhi emphasises post-97 rule of Hong Kong by Hongkongers
  • 26 Dec: Time's Man of the Year is the computer

1970 Metal Dog

Someone threw the Metal Dog a bone and the HSI, proving it was going to bark from the first year, took off like a dog after a postman. The graph may look like it was a Chihuahua raising its tiny head, but it was the great Mastiff whose paw prints were all over the Hang Seng bowl. Two small yelps couldn't stop the Pointer heading in the right direction, and the year finished a third higher than it had begun.

  • 5 Mar: Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty goes into effect
  • 31 Mar: Hijacking of JAL flight 351
  • 9 May: 100,000 people in Washington demonstrate against the Vietnam War
  • 24 Jun: Kowloon Park opens in Hong Kong
  • 20 Sep: Syria invades Jordan
  • 10 Nov: Russian Luna 17 mission sends first robot device to the moon
  • 4 Dec: Pope Paul VI visits Hong Kong
  • 15 Dec: The South Korean ferry Namyong Ho capsizes, killing 308