(Adds company news item and futures)
Nov 24 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures is down 0.1 percent ahead of the cash market open on Friday.
* PROVIDENT FINANCIAL: British subprime lender Provident Financial Plc said Executive Chairman Manjit Wolstenholme died at age 54 on Thursday.
* UNILEVER: Consumer goods maker Unilever has begun working with executive search firm Egon Zehnder International to help to identify a successor to Chief Executive officer Paul Polman, Sky News reported on Thursday.
* OPHIR ENERGY: Ophir Energy has postponed its final investment decision on a proposed $2 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Equatorial Guinea until early 2018 to explore alternatives to Chinese financing, the company said on Thursday.
* BRITAIN-ECONOMY: British households are their least confident since immediately after last year’s Brexit vote, partly because of this month’s interest rate hike and further signs of a slowdown in the housing market, a survey showed on Friday.
* GOLD: Gold prices inched up on Friday as the dollar remained under pressure after minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting revealed that some policymakers were concerned about lower inflation.
* OIL: U.S. crude oil hit fresh two-year highs on Friday, as the shutdown of a major crude pipeline from Canada to the United States tightened North American markets.
* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index closed down 0.02 percent at 7417.24 points on Thursday, as fall in Centrica’s shares weighed on British stocks, but a rebound in housebuilders and a weak pound provided enough support to recoup most of the morning’s losses.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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