July 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dropped on Wednesday, hurt by losses in the consumer staples sector after food retailer Loblaw Cos reported disappointing quarterly earnings.
* At 9:47 a.m. ET (1347 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX Composite index was down 34.6 points, or 0.21%, at 16,538.08.
* The consumer staples sector fell over 1%, hurt by a 3% decline in shares of Loblaw after the company missed quarterly profit expectations as it continues to invest in building its e-commerce network and retail stores.
* Six of the index's 11 major sectors were lower.
* The materials sector, which includes precious metal miners, added 0.4% as gold prices rose on expectations of monetary policy easing from leading central banks to shore up the global economy.
* On the TSX, 87 issues were higher, while 138 issues declined for a 1.59-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 15.70 million shares traded.
* The top percentage gainer on the TSX was Cott Corp , which jumped 4.5%, followed by shares of gold miner Eldorado Gold, which rose 3.9%.
* CannTrust Holdings fell 17.5%, the most on the TSX, after a report said that the company's chairman and chief executive officer were informed in November of its unlicensed cannabis growing.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were those of CannTrust, Trimetals Mining Inc and Northwest Healthcare Properties REIT.
* The TSX posted two new 52-week highs and two new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were 18 new 52-week highs and seven new lows, with total volume of 27.39 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)