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Mining stocks drag FTSE 100 from 16-month highs; airlines soar

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* FTSE 100 down 0.5%, FTSE 250 off 0.2%

June 17 (Reuters) - Mining stocks knocked London’s FTSE 100 index off 16-month highs on Thursday as a hawkish turn by the Federal Reserve hit commodity prices, although Britain’s plans to ease travel restrictions allowed airline shares to buck the trend.

The blue-chip index fell 0.5% and was on track for its biggest percentage fall in two weeks. Miners, fell nearly 2% as metal prices slipped after the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled an earlier-than-expected change in its broader policy.

Large dollar-earning consumer staples companies Unilever , Diageo and Reckitt Benckiser Group fell between 0.6% and 0.8%.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index declined 0.2%.

However, airlines including Wizz Air, Ryanair Holdings, British Airways-owner IAG and EasyJet Plc jumped between 2% and 3.3% after Britain said it was considering allowing those who are double vaccinated against COVID-19 to enjoy a foreign holiday without intrusive red tape.

Premier Inn-owner Whitbread gained 4.6% after saying hotel bookings in its tourist locations picked up in the run-up to the summer travel season. (Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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