Around the world, many people have consulted masters of feng shui — a Chinese system of beliefs in the influence of stars, geography and the location of objects on people’s lives — for advice on how to maximize their good fortune and well-being through home decor. But in Hong Kong, masters of feng shui (literally “wind and water”) routinely weigh in on money matters, too. And after a year of huge financial losses, they’re finding an especially receptive audience.

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[year of ox]

Feng shui master Kerby Kuek predicts “wood” energies would prevent the housing markets from improving in the spring, a series of “chaotic” political upheavals in the summer, and that the economy will be “ignited” in the fall, led by metal-related industries. By winter, he says, housing prices will be going “up and up.” Feng shui master Alion Yeo predicts the Year of the Ox will be a difficult year for the markets, with some fleeting recoveries before a “financial act of terrorism” in June or July — which he suggests could be the result of a hedge fund trying to manipulate the markets. Mr. Alion recommends his clients buy stocks related to the element of fire, like China Mobile and PetroChina, and to sell HSBC, because construction is under way near its Hong Kong headquarters (generally a bad sign when it comes to feng shui).

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