How a hedge fund robot outsmarted its human master

Yoshinori Nomura felt like weeping. It was the morning of June 24th, Brexit day, and markets were moving against him.Well, not against him, exactly. It was the hedge fund manager’s self-learning computer program that had placed the bet, selling Japanese stock-index futures before a sizable market advance. Nomura had anticipated a rally, but decided not to interfere, and his fund was paying the price. Then, in an instant, everything changed.When new vote counts signalled Britain was going to leave the European Union, a burst of selling sent Japanese shares to their biggest drop in five years. By luck or design, Nomura’s Simplex Equity Futures Strategy Fund ended the day with a 3.4 per cent gain, one of its best results in three months of trading. “The machine was right after…

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