Hong Kong stocks are set to rise on Wednesday following a higher close on Wall Street which was supported by commodity-related counters and strong earnings from technology bellwethers Apple and IBM.

Sentiment will be cautious ahead of Chinese macroeconomic data on Thursday, however, as investors keenly await the latest inflation numbers as well as details on money growth and loans.

The data will be released against the backdrop of Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States where the yuan and the trade gap between the two countries will be among the wide range of issues to be discussed.

On Tuesday, the Hang Seng Index .HSI closed flat.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei .N225 was up 0.4 percent while South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 was 0.3 percent higher as of 0130 GMT.

STOCKS TO WATCH:

* Hutchison Whampoa Ltd on Tuesday said it plans to spin off holdings in two port assets, a move expected to raise $6 billion in what could be Southeast Asia's largest ever stock offering.

* Brazilian mining giant Vale SA  said it expects total iron ore production to rise 50 percent by 2015, an executive said on Tuesday.

* United Company RUSAL Ltd  said on Tuesday that it has selected four banks for a yuan-denominated bond issue in Hong Kong that it plans to launch in the first quarter.

* Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd said Chen Jiahong and Li Side have resigned as vice-presidents of the company for personal reasons and their resignations would not affect the operation and production of the company. 

 * China Coal Energy Company Limited said raw coal production volume for 2010 rose 22.3 percent while coke production for the year fell 3.7 percent.

* China Life Insurance Co Ltd said its accumulated premium income for 2010 amounted to about 318.2 billion yuan.