Kung Hei Fat Choy

Year of the Metal Ox

Following tradition, our 27th annual Feng Shui guide offers a light-hearted, alternative look at what's in the stars for you and the Hang Seng Index in 2021. The famed Bronze Ox from Beijing’s Summer Palace is our cover cow this year. She is a great regulator, and easily controls the flow of water and capital through Hong Kong.

Scroll down to view all manner of forecasts for the year ahead. We reveal your zodiac’s health, wealth, love and career stars, suggest good places to graze and how to mitigate negative energy, highlight lucky sectors, speculate on celebrity fortunes and, most importantly, predict the Hang Seng Index’s monthly cow path.

Known for their strength and majesty, oxen have assumed various forms in the human imagination, from feared gods to placid beasts of burden. Domesticated about 8,000 years ago, shortly after dogs and sheep, they have been independently brought into our world several times, from north Africa to southeast Asia and, more recently, to the Tibetan Plateau with the yak. Above, we feature some of the most famous bovines throughout history.

And here's our forecast!

CLSA Feng Shui Index, 2021
CLSA Feng Shui Index 2021

The last time the Ox showed its horns was in 2009 after the Global Financial Crisis. Once again, the faithful Ox has come to pull our favourite Earth Rooster, the Hang Seng Index, out of a slump. Summer and winter are the best periods, with gains and losses in other months.


Previous Ox Years

How did we fare?

In 2009, the Earth Ox led the Hang Seng up a meandering but steady cow path out of the Global Financial Crisis, generally following our predictions. During 1998, the Earth Rooster only diverged from our forecast in the final quarter. Our Rooster was a slow but consistent gainer in 1985 while the year of the Water Ox was a complete wipeout.


So what's Feng Shui?

Interplay determines our forecasts

In Feng Shui, the four pillars of destiny (the year, month, day and hour) comprise eight characters, hence the name Bazi. Each of the pillars is described by the two cycles that have characterised Chinese ways of telling time for the past three millennia. They are the 10 heavenly stems and the 12 earthly branches. When you place those two cycles side by side, they repeat at intervals of 60, which means you return to the beginning of the sequence. The new year, for Feng Shui purposes, is different from the Chinese New Year, which strictly follows the phases of the moon.

For 2021, the year begins at precisely 22:59 on 3 February, when the heavenly stem is xin 辛 and the earthly branch is chou 丑. That's achingly close to the 11pm changeover to the next combination of two-hourly stems and branches, so predictions are a little softer. Each stem and branch is associated with one of the five elements (water, fire, metal, wood and earth), and also with either yin or yang. That gives us the chart for the year, and we compare that against our Hang Seng Rooster’s natal chart for 24 November 1969.

The Bazi destiny charts for the Ox and the Hang Seng Index
The Bazi destiny charts


In Chinese philosophy, the five elements provide a basic framework to understand relationships between everything. Each year, wood, fire, earth, metal and water dance around each other, some ruling throughout, others bursting out for a month or so. We apply Feng Shui theory to the markets by assigning certain industries to each element to determine their general trajectory.


The Zodiacs

What sign are you?
How you will fare in the Year of the Metal Ox

Affliction deflection

How to mitigate negative energy

Feng Shui determines the points on the compass assigned to potential negative energies, or qi, in their various guises. The usual suspects are the Tai Sui, Tsui Po, San Sha and Wu Wang: intangible forces meandering across the Feng Shui firmament, so if the predictions are not in your favour, purchase a canister of reality and breathe deep . . . you'll be fine.


Celebrity Fortunes 2021


Property outlook

Where to stable?

Whether you are renting, buying, investing or developing, you'll be better off knowing what the stars have in mind for Hong Kong real estate.