Stocks in Tokyo fell as investors sold steel makers’ shares on concerns about industry profits following news late Tuesday that Tokyo Steel plans to cut steel sheet prices from June. Tokyo Steel, JFE Holdings and Sumitomo Metal Industries slipped, as did Nippon Steel, which was also weighed down by reports that Tokyo prosecutors had raided the company’s headquarters on suspicion of bid rigging for government bridge-building contracts.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s outlook for Japan discouraged buyers. In its semiannual report late Tuesday, the Paris-based OECD predicted that Japan’s economy will expand an annualized 1.5 percent this year after adjustment for price changes and then grow 1.7 percent in 2006. That was less robust than growth forecasts for the United States and Europe.