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Tue City brief: Record owner in talks with Express

Traders were mulling over a possible swoop by Trinity Mirror on Express newspapers, and fourth quarter figures from supermarket group Sainsbury.

The publisher of the Daily Record and Daily Mirror is in preliminary talks about investing in the Daily Express.

Trinity Mirror, a largely left-wing stable is at the opposite end of the political spectrum to the Express, but is considering options including taking an equity stake in its rival, owned by Richard Desmond’s holding company Northern & Shell.

“There is no certainty that any agreement will be reached in respect of the range of outcomes currently under consideration,” it said in a stock market announcement.

Mr Desmond is said to be seeking more than £100m for the Daily and Sunday Express, close to the £125m he paid for the titles in 2000.

Sainsbury was the main riser on the FTSE 100 in early morning trades, but gains had been wiped out as US markets opened for business.

The firm surpassed City expectations with a less-than-feared fall in like-for-like sales in its fourth quarter.

The boards of Banco Sabadell and TSB are set to approve the proposed £1.7 billion bid on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Tullow Oil and Centrica led the risers on expectations of help from the Chancellor in the Budget.

The FTSE 100 closed up 33.53pts at 6,837.61.

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