UPDATE 1-Peru central bank wary of U.S. rate hike, defends interventions
* Central bank says has plenty of reserves to soften sol's slide
* Interventions aim to tame inflation and protect recovery
* Velarde says currency depreciation should ease after Fed hike (Recasts to focus on Velarde's defense of interventions, adds comments on inflation, economic recovery)
By Teresa Cespedes
LIMA, Aug 19 (Reuters) - The chief of Peru's central bank on Wednesday defended the monetary authority's nearly daily interventions in the currency market, citing its increasing uneasiness over an expected interest rate hike in the United States.
"We really have growing fears with respect to the impact on the withdrawal of monetary stimulus in the U.S.," Julio Velarde told reporters on the sidelines of an event.
Velarde said the central bank still has plenty of dollar reserves it can sell in the spot market to soften the sol's losses against the dollar.
The bank bought some $13 billion in 2012 when the sol was appreciating. Since then, it has sold less than $10 billion, he said.
"We still haven't used what we bought during the last year the sol was strengthening," Velarde said. Continuación...