THE peso rose against the dollar on Friday on the back of positive developments in the tax reform program in Congress.

The peso ended the session at P50.50, strengthening from the P50.65 finish on Thursday.

The peso opened weaker at P50.69, the low for the session. The intraday high was P50.49.

Trading volume was little changed at $703.1 million, against $706.6 million on Thursday.

Traders said on Friday that the peso’s gains were mainly due to positive sentiment arising from the tax reform package making progress in the legislature.

“There was optimism that the tax reform bill will be reconciled by the bicameral committee by Monday,” a trader said in an email.

Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, chief economist at Union Bank of the Philippines, concurred, saying that “positive market sentiment prevailed amidst the possible passage of the tax reform bill before the end of 2017.”

In a social media post on Thursday, Sen. Juan Edgardo M. Angara said the bicameral conference committee has agreed on at least 75 key provisions in the tax reform package.

“It seems that we are close to concluding this landmark measure,” Mr. Angara said.

Meanwhile, another trader noted that the dollar was also well-supported despite the peso’s momentum.

Mr. Asuncion said the the US currency benefited from measures to head off a US government shutdown. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal