Miners weigh London's FTSE 100 down; travel stocks jump



(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* Miners down on weakness in iron ore

* Airlines gain on prospect of easing travel rules

* FTSE 100 down 1.2%, FTSE 250 off 0.2% (Updates to close)

By Devik Jain and Amal S

Sept 17 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 ended lower on Friday, weighed by a slump in mining stocks, while British retail sales fell unexpectedly in August, adding to concerns about economic recovery.

After rising as much as 0.9%, the blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE ended 1.2% lower, and marked its third consecutive week in red. The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index .FTMC eased 0.2%.

Leading declines were base metal miners .FTNMX551020 including Anglo American AAL.L , Rio Tinto RIO.L , BHP Group BHPB.L and Glencore GLEN.L down between 2.6% and 8.2%, tracking weakness in iron ore.

"I think the market is starting to get to grips with what potential contagion there is involved with how something like Evergrande going down would ripple around the world in terms of demand for things like iron ore," said Keith Temperton, sales trader at Forte Securities.

British retail sales dropped 0.9% on the month in August versus a Reuters poll for a rise of 0.5%, after data earlier this week pointed towards a sharp recovery in the jobs market and a spike in inflation.

Investor focus will now be on the outcome of Bank of England's (BoE) policy meeting next week.

"Next week's policy decision should reaffirm that some tightening will be needed over the next few years to keep inflation (and the economy) in check. But we don't expect the BoE to conclude that there is a sufficient case yet for near-term rate hikes," Deutsche Bank economist Sanjay Raja said.

The FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 indexes have declined about 1.2% and 0.6% this week, as a better-than-expected labour market recovery and rising price pressures have fuelled concerns of an early tapering of stimulus measures by the Bank of England.

Airlines Wizz Air WIZZ.L , Easyjet EZJ.L and British Airways owner IAG ICAG.L , and holiday company TUI AG TUIT.L rose between 2.2% and 5.7%, as Britain was set to consider easing its COVID-19 rules for international travel.

Wickes Group WIX.L jumped 3.3% to the top of FTSE 250 index after Deutsche upgraded the DIY retailer to "buy" from "hold".



UK retail sales Link



Reporting by Devik Jain and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by
Uttaresh.V, Shounak Dasgupta and David Gregorio



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