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Reuters Helps Computers Read The News

The UK.-based news and financial information service on Monday launched two new products to automate financial trading based on news content.

Having amassed a daily audience of a billion people, Reuters is now aiming to build its readership among computers. The UK.-based news and financial information service on Monday launched two new products to automate financial trading based on news content.

"At a simplistic level, it's about speed and beating the humans to the punch," says Richard Brown, business manager of Reuters NewsScope.

The first is Reuters NewsScope Real-time, which clients can use to drive automated trading based on news stories. The service meta tags story content to identify the industry sectors, companies, and other data that might be useful to financial traders.

The second is Reuters NewsScope Archive, which lets the company's clients analyze news stories in conjunction with market performance to test and refine strategies to profit from headline-driven market moves. NewsScope Archive files can be loaded into Oracle 9i and Oracle 10g databases, as well as Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and 2005, for analysis.

"The globalization and complexity of financial markets are driving greater use of computers to execute trading strategies," said Reuters CEO Tom Glocer in a statement. "Our clients are incorporating news into their automated trading strategies and our latest offerings can help them find undiscovered value."

Despite the increasing use of automated trading systems, there's still a place for people. Automation is one of the keys to generating alpha, or beating the index, "but it's not the be-all end-all," says Brown.

Reuters filed almost 3 million news items in 2005 in 20 different languages, not including machine-speak.

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