Wars, fires forecast for Year of the Horse?

The coming Chinese Year of the Horse may bring conflicts and disasters related to fire.

But there will be strong gains in stocks linked to wood, the year's other dominant element, said Hong Kong's fengshui masters.

The Year of the Horse, which begins tomorrow, contains a great deal of fire, bringing energy, and also wood, fuelling the flames, and making them stronger.

"The upcoming Horse year is also a 'yang wood' year, when people will stick more to their principles and stand firm," said Mr Raymond Lo, a practitioner for more than 20 years, who has students all over the world.

"So it is hard to negotiate or compromise as there are more tendencies for people to fight for their ideals."

The combination of a Horse year and a "yang wood" year, which comes round every 60 years, has a record of regional warfare.

The last such year was 1954, which witnessed the Battle of Dien Bien Phu that ended with the defeat of France by the Vietnamese.

The previous such year was 1894, which marked the start of the First Sino-Japanese War.

Mr Alion Yeo, another Hong Kong fengshui practitioner, predicted extra turbulence during next month, May and August, Reuters reported.

"The biggest concern is the disagreement between China and Japan over the Diaoyu islands," he said about the disputed islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku in Japan.


But the good news is that the fire element will drive market sentiment, implying strong performance by stocks.

"Wood-related sectors will flourish, including culture, education, agriculture, lumber and media," said another fengshui practitioner, Mr Lai Hon Fai.

But too much fire portends disasters such as volcanic eruptions, explosions and power outages during summer, warned Mr Yeo.

The risk of a new wave of bird flu also persists, Mr Lo said. Officials in China should be on their guard because the coming year will be full of sex scandals.

On the other hand, Mr Lai said the year would be favourable for women and the places they govern.

"For Brazil, the World Cup will definitely spur its economy," Mr Lai said.

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