PARIS - The European Central Bank interest rates are likely to reach their peak over the summer and a rate cut this year is out of the question, French ECB policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Friday.

In a speech to financial analysts, Villeroy, who is also governor of the French central bank, said that rates would then "probably" reach their peak in the summer, at the latest by September.

Markets took the ECB's February policy statement as a signal that rates could peak at a lower level than earlier thought and investors quickly priced out a 25 basis point rate hike.

Villeroy said that how long interest rates are kept at the peak were also key, adding that the they would be kept high as long as necessary to steer inflation back towards the ECB's 2% target.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas, editing by Tassilo Hummel)