Where can I obtain for free, P/E ratios for specific sectors?
Not quite free, but they are in the FT every day. If you want historic figures you need a library that has back copies of the FT.
Just be aware that despite best endeavours the odd gremlin slips into the published numbers from time to time ( my wife used to work as a quant analyst preparing/ checking /collecting and selling such data- they were never infallible, corporate events/ share buy backs etc can throw the numbers.)
Also the definition of earnings re quoted companies appears a very subjective matter, certainly I would never rely on quoted numbers but would want to check back to accounts before I say risked money and purchased shares.
If you want a screening tool, to pick up some possible names ,Digital Look is pretty user friendly, you can I believe search by sector and sort by various characteristics. I have used it as a first screening tool when searching dividend yields, to get a short list to then investigate further (I do up to 3 new purchases a year from my dividends earned and tend to chase shares with reasonable dividends, however I do also look at P/E to investigate cover etc)
I am guessing that the OP wants the information as a valuer of shares in a private company wanting comparable quoted company multiples - not as an investor.
Digital Look still a decent starting point.
The catch is likely really identifying what the quoted company really does, these days the larger ones often have many strings to their bows so finding a "matching" business can be tricky, a lot of reading of the more detailed reports and accounts is often required, even when suitable candidate(s) has (have) been found.
Often AIM and the smaller index constituents are more useful, albeit I at times have had reservations re AIM stocks and how they report profits.
Yes indeed. I am guessing that is why the OP wants the sector averages.
As usual......you are 'spot on' with the underlying reason for the question.
I think back copies at a relevant library may be the solution.
Absolutely right with regarding to the 'matching difficulties'.
Thanks for your input
A library with FT back copies is probably the solution. Additionally, you correctly identified the underlying reason for the question.