Feng shui masters see calmer markets in Year of the Ox
By Susan Fenton
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Stock investors reeling from last year's market mayhem may take some solace from practitioners of the ancient Chinese art of feng shui, who predict a calmer, if subdued, performance in the coming Chinese Year of the Ox.
"This year of the Ox is an 'earth' year, when people will take a breather and reflect on what they should do after a turbulent 2008," said Hong Kong feng shui master Raymond Lo.
Practitioners of feng shui maintain the universe is made up of five elements -- earth, water, fire, wood and metal -- that define the collective mood in our environment.
Earth is the calmest of the elements and this year is a "yin earth" year as well as an Ox year, symbolizing a more feminine energy, says Lo.
The Year of the Ox, which starts on January 26, will be the most peaceful year globally since 2000, he says, but stock investors don't need to rush into the market yet.
"2009 will be a 'pure earth' year, which means fire will be missing so there will not be a lot of drive to push up the stock market," said Lo. The economic climate will still be tough and though stock markets might rise in the first half of this year, gains could peter out in the second half, Lo said.
"The market should still be quite low in the second half and that would be a good time to get in ahead of a recovery in 2010 (the Year of the Tiger)," he said.
The global outlook will be helped by the fact that incoming U.S. President Barack Obama was born in a "yin earth" year, like President Abraham Lincoln. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou are also "yin earth" people. Continued...