On the trading day under review, the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) experienced a decline in its benchmark index, the GSE-Composite Index, which fell by 11.78 points to close at 2,729.68 points, representing a year-to-date change of 11.69%. In contrast, the GSE Financial Stocks Index remained unchanged, indicating a year-to-date return of -14.34%.
This underperformance of the market could be attributed to the absence of gainers on the day, as none of the stocks traded recorded any price appreciation. Notably, Scancom PLC (MTNGH) lost GH¢0.01, closing at GH¢1.25. This outcome resulted in a decrease in the market capitalization of the exchange by GH¢122.90 million, closing at GH¢68.16 billion.
Nevertheless, there was a marked increase in market activity, with the volume of shares traded rising by 940.07% and value traded increasing by 12,116.05%. A total of 4,273,962 shares were traded across twenty equities, valued at GH¢5,238,275.91. Scancom PLC (MTNGH) emerged as the most actively traded stock, trading 4,108,756 shares valued at GH¢5,135,962, accounting for 98.05% of the total value traded. Following closely behind was Cal Bank PLC (CAL), trading 91,829 shares valued at GH¢45,915, representing 0.88% of the total value traded.
The poor performance of the GSE on the trading day may be attributed to the lack of positive sentiment in the market, which could be linked to several factors. For instance, the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent effect on global economic activities, including Ghana, could have dampened investor confidence. Similarly, the recent announcement of new fiscal policies by the government, particularly with regards to taxes, may have led to a decline in the demand for equities.
Looking ahead, it remains to be seen whether the GSE will experience a reversal of fortunes, with the potential for a resurgence of investor sentiment and market activity. Nonetheless, given the current economic climate, it may be wise for investors to exercise caution and prudence in their investment decisions.