US stocks have seen their worst first half of a year since 1970, as concerns grow over how steps to curb inflation will affect economic growth.

In the last six months, the benchmark S&P 500 index fell 20.6%, while other major US indexes also dropped sharply.

Stocks in the UK, mainland Europe and Asia have also suffered steep losses.

It comes as central banks around the world are trying to rein in soaring living costs, with prices of essential goods like food and fuel jumping.

Some economists expect the US, which is the world’s biggest economy, to go into a recession as early as this year as interest rates continue to rise.

“If the US Federal Reserve continues hiking rates the stock market will react quite negatively,” Dan Wang, chief economist at Hang Seng Bank China, told the BBC.