The U.S. dollar strengthened to the upper 150-yen range Tuesday in New York, a level unseen since November, as higher-than-expected U.S. consumer price data tempered market expectations of an early interest-rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

At 5 p.m. in New York, the dollar traded at 150.72-82 yen after hovering above the 150.50-yen line throughout most of the day and temporarily hitting 150.88 yen.

The dollar rose to the lower 150-yen level in the morning after being quoted at 149.58-59 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. The U.S. currency last topped the psychologically important threshold on Nov. 17.

The U.S. consumer price index for January, up 3.1 percent from a year earlier, led investors to believe the Fed may need to continue its fight against stubborn inflation by keeping borrowing costs high, a development that encouraged dollar-buying and yen-selling.

Investors have taken into account wide rate differentials between the two economies as their central banks have been pursuing divergent monetary policies, with Japan maintaining an ultraloose stance throughout the U.S. Fed's cycle of tightening.

Related coverage:

Nikkei briefly surges above 38,000 in new 34-year high

Nikkei index briefly tops 37,000, 1st time in 34 years on weaker yen

Japan watching forex moves closely, stability important: minister