It has been a tough year for many research analysts - a year that has seen fewer perks and more everyday annoyances like fund managers yawning through their market calls. Brokers said, however, one of the toughest aspects of the year was the regularity with which they had to revise the outlook on companies and economies. Every substantial swing in interest rates, a currency or other key assumption sent analysts back to the drawing board again and again. 'This year, it has just been bewildering to the research units . . . all the expectations are being jerked in so many directions,' ABN Amro strategist Eugene Galbraith said. 'For example, a month ago we would have talked about the yen at 160 [to the US dollar] and two months ago we would have been worrying about the Hong Kong dollar spinning off into uncontrolled depegging.' Instead, the yen has anchored at about 115 for several weeks and Hong Kong interest rates have settled, lifting pressure off the currency. Such movements affect the income of banks, pricing of properties, the costs and revenues of traders - and of course the risk premium on all Hong Kong and mainland-related companies. The region's economists have sometimes had to take the flak for the increased workloads of company analysts. When they change their calls on interest or unemployment rates, analysts must fit those numbers into their own outlook on firms they cover. Paribas Asia Equity economist Philip Smyth said: 'The analysts have gotten upset when changes [about regional interest rates and currencies] come from the econ team. And then we're a function of a global team so when a global assumption changes . . . we have to all start over again.' Changes this year have come swiftly and surprisingly. Take the unexpected decision by the United States Federal Reserve Board to cut rates on October 15. The following morning, a Friday, analysts hoping to nip out early for the first weekend drink had to face an evening of numbers-tweaking. 'You learn to accept the new environment,' Mr Smyth said. 'Like coming to work and finding big Alan Greenspan has cut rates between meetings. 'Immediately you're on the spot . . . do you change [assumptions about] rates or not?' Perhaps the most put-out analysts are those covering sectors with operations spread throughout the region, such as the conglomerate First Pacific or airline firm Cathay Pacific Airways. 'I pulled my old international finance text to gear up on foreign exchange,' said Vickers Ballas Securities business development director David Loomis, who covered First Pacific earlier this year. However, there is a point when it becomes fruitless to revise. 'When the markets are moving that fast, when the information continues to change every day in rather large increments, there's just no way you can constantly revise.' Worldsec Securities analyst Jean Hydleman said constantly revising would only be a headache for clients. 'You could sit there and remodel for every eventuality but at the end of the day you have to take a view,' she said. 'There's a limit to how many scenarios you can give them.'