LONDON: Miners knocked London’s FTSE 100 index off 16-month highs on Thursday as a hawkish turn by the US Federal Reserve hit commodity prices, although Britain’s plans to ease travel restrictions allowed airline shares to buck the trend.
The blue-chip index ended 0.4% down, snapping its five-day winning streak and marked its biggest percentage fall in two weeks.
Base and precious metal miners slid 3.0% and 3.5% respectively, as commodity prices slipped after the Fed signalled it could raise rates earlier than expected.
“The US Federal Reserve has proved a bit of an unreliable partner to the markets, promising not to raise rates too far or too fast and then suddenly announcing an acceleration in its plans on this front,” said Danni Hewson, analyst at AJ Bell in a note.
The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index declined 0.4%. Dr. Martens slipped 11.5% to the bottom of the index even after the classic British boot brand reported a 22% rise in its annual core earnings.
Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell fell 1.5% and 0.7% respectively, tracking weaker crude. Airlines, including Wizz Air, British Airways-owner IAG, EasyJet Plc and Ryanair Holdings jumped between 0.8% and 3%. While travel-related stocks gained 0.6% as companies, including TUI AG, InterContinental Hotels Group PLC and Jet2, rose between 1.1% and 4.4%.
Premier Inn-owner Whitbread gained 1.9% after saying hotel bookings in its tourist locations picked up in the run-up to the summer travel season. Trainline climbed 5.1% after the rail operator’s group net ticket sales hit the highest since the start of the pandemic.