(This version of the story was refiled to correct Jeffrey Tong's title)
HONG KONG (Reuters) - The Year of the Rooster will bring some peckish volatility to the Hong Kong stock market, but its main index will eventually gain ground before peaking sometime midway through 2017, brokerage CLSA said on Wednesday.
"After scratching aimlessly for the first couple of months, the Hang Seng claws its way upwards, to rule the roost around July/August," CLSA said in its annual tongue-in-cheek financial forecast for the upcoming Lunar New Year, which starts on Jan. 28 this year.
Jeffrey Tong, who in his usual day job is a senior research associate covering microstrategy at CLSA, donned the mantle of a feng shui master for this year's outlook and forecast that conditions are going to be choppy in the near term.
"After a few ups and downs, by November/December the Earth Rooster loses his grip, but still manages to end the year on a higher perch overall," it said.
Transportation and gaming stocks will be in favor in the first quarter while retail, healthcare, technology and utilities will gain prominence in the June quarter, according to Tong.
On Hong Kong property, he advised buying homes in the north.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated on Friday, was born in the Year of the Dog, scoring him in the middle of the pack in terms of performance.
"He is not the best but not the worst either," Tong said.
Those forecasts, while meant to be taken with a pinch of salt, do gel well with CLSA's more serious, traditional forecast. CLSA did not have predictions for the exact level of the index by the end of the year.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index <.HSI> saw wild swings in the outgoing Year of the Monkey before ending little changed for 2016. It has gained 5 percent so far in 2017.
(Reporting by Gabriel Yu; Additional reporting by Michelle Chen; Editing by Kim Coghill)