Local markets are higher on Tuesday, as ASX investors continue to shrug off geopolitical risk with steady gains seen across the board.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has included plenty of reported attempts at cyber warfare, with noted hacking group Anonymous claiming to be targeting Russian websites.

But on a hacking story of a different kind, US$600bn tech giant Nvidia apparently got some revenge of its own on a group of hackers that stole more than 1 terabyte of the company’s data.

The hacking group — LAPSU$ — indicated that the global chip maker had responded by hacking them back — encrypting all the stolen data and breaching their system with ransomware.

However, LAPSU$ responded by claiming it had a backup and overnight, reports showed the group released what it claimed was a 20GB cache of Nvidia data.

Back on domestic markets, healthy risk appetite was shown by the fact that the composite microcap Emerging Companies index outperformed the ASX 200 with a gain of more than 2%.

Another risk benchmark — ASX tech stocks — are also comfortably outperforming with the ASX 200 IT index up by more than 5% in morning trade.

Also in the realm of high-beta risk barometers, Bitcoin is surging with a stomping overnight rally that has seen it climb back above US$43,000 for the first time in two weeks.

While investors grapple with the ongoing military escalation in Ukraine, they may also be assessing what that means for interest rates in a year where financial conditions are expected to tighten considerably.

On that front, economists are extra-excited about the RBA meeting scheduled for this afternoon (2:30pm EST). Get the full rundown here.

Broadly speaking, it’s calm in Asian trade with gold holding at just above US$1,900/oz, Brent crude oil just shy of US$100/b and the AUD little-changed at just above US72c.

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for March 1 [intraday]:

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Among stocks with news, clinical stage regenerative medicine company AVITA Medical (ASX:AVH) outperformed following the release of its annual report.

AVITA flagged annual revenue forecasts of $30m for the year ahead, which represents “a 20% increase year-over-year”.

Shares in AVITA jumped sharply in February after it announced FDA approval of the premarket approval application supplement for its RECELL autologous cell harvesting device.

That positions the company very well for broader commercial expansion… “in the second half of 2023 following anticipated FDA approval”, AVH said.

In resources, Tombador Iron (ASX:TI1) led the way after flagging the results of a pre-feasibility study which showed a maiden iron ore reserve of 5.59 million tonnes at above-average grades of 65.5%Fe at its iron ore project in Bahia State, Brazi.

The resources “underpins 100% of the forecasted annual production of 1.2 million tonnes for 5 years” in the PFS, which was calculated on an assumed iron ore price of US$100.31 per tonne.

Get the full resources wrap here.

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for March 1 [intraday]:

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