Oil barrels on the side of the road in Baghdad
Oil barrels on the side of the road in Baghdad - 
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Steve Chiotakis: The price of oil ticked up in Asian trading today. U.S. light, sweet crude rose a $1.10 to more than $36 a barrel. But as Stephen Beard reports, the overall trend still seems to point downward.

Stephen Beard: Today's modest rise in the price of crude was due to some Christmas Day news from OPEC. The United Arab Emirates announced a production cut. The cartel member told its customers they'll be getting less oil next month.

It's the first clear sign, perhaps, that OPEC might actually carry through the cuts it recently agreed, and that just might stop the price of oil falling.

Rob Laughlin is a senior oil trader with Man Financial. He says in spite today's rise, all the signs point to the price of oil heading further south:

Rob Laughlin: We're seeing a lot of countries slowing right down. Japanese economy overnight slowed down. For the first time -- and I'm a bit of a dinosaur -- that I can remember, actually people don't want OPEC oil.

Some Wall Street banks forecast that crude could fall to less than $25 a barrel.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.