The dollar is having a gravity problem. It’s hard to conclude anything else as the US currency rallies only modestly despite a long list of buy signals.

The Federal Reserve, for example, is about to shrink its balance sheet. President Donald Trump is apt to replace Fed Chair Janet Yellen with a more hawkish policymaker, whether it’s Kevin Warsh or Jerome Powell.

The recent German election, where right-wingers gained influence, and Spain’s succession drama bode ill for the euro. Japan’s October 22 general election could be a contest to see which candidate will devalue the yen more.

North Korea’s provocations give the greenback a serious safe haven bid.

Central bankers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and elsewhere are taking more dovish stances. The People’s Bank of China slashed bank reserve requirements again, a stealth easing ahead of Beijing’s upcoming 19th party Congress.

And regulators around the globe can’t decide whether to love Bitcoin or make it illegal.

“In short, I struggle to find one piece of news in the past three weeks that has been dollar-bearish,” says Louis-Vincent Gave of Gavekal Research in Hong Kong.

“In short, I struggle to find one piece of news in the past three weeks that has been dollar-bearish,” says Louis-Vincent Gave of Gavekal Research in Hong Kong.

And yet all the dollar can do it rise 3.6% against the deflation-plagued Japanese yen this year. Hence, Gave describing the dollar’s rally as “lame.” He notes that “given all the good news above, this performance has to be a disappointment for dollar bulls who, by now must be wondering: ‘what will it take for the U.S. dollar to mount a significant and sustained rally?’”

Trump making good on his tax reform plan would certainly do the trick. But considering health-care-reform train wreck, Trump’s attention-deficit woes and fraught relationship with lawmakers, significant tax cuts are wishful thinking.

If Trump managed to get his act together – a huge “if” – played nice with Congress and shepherded cuts through, the dollar could rocket higher. The same goes for any incentives to enable companies to repatriate foreign earnings.

The dollar’s outlook could just as easily be in Asia’s hands, and that means its rally could accelerate.

Take Japan, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is suddenly in the electoral battle of his career with Yuriko Koike, Tokyo’s first female governor. The run up to the Japan election this month is almost certain to have Abe and Koike outdoing each other with stimulus pledges, both monetary and fiscal.

Recent weeks have seen a whisper campaign against Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

Read: How the Bank of Japan can get really crazy

At least two Abe surrogates suggest the BOJ could use a more activist leader. That’s code for Kuroda needs to ease further to defeat deflation once and for all.

Tokyo is also in full pump-priming mode, with Abe promising everything from free education to corporate tax cuts. Koike is one-upping him with talk of tax cuts for households, too. All this will add to a runaway national debt burden, the largest in the world.

China’s Xi Jinping, meanwhile, is running out of ways to keep growth near 7%.

China’s Xi Jinping, meanwhile, is running out of ways to keep growth near 7%.

The tens of trillions of dollars’ worth of credit Beijing churned out since the 2008 global crisis have a diminishing returns problem. Xi’s team is getting less bang for its stimulus yuan.

That leaves yuan depreciation to gin up exports. Trump might protest, but Xi knows he’ll be in power long after Trump leaves the White House. Xi, after all, has outmanoeuvred Trump at every turn, so why not?

Gave has another theory, involving the flipside of a beauty contest.

“Putting it all together, it does seem that the world’s currency markets are back to being an ‘ugly contest,’ as they were between 2010 and 2014,” he says.

“In this ugly contest, it is not obvious to me that the dollar should be the first partner one would seek out for a dance. The fact is that the dollar, despite having put on its best make-up and prettiest dress over recent weeks, is still sitting on its behind. Could it be a sign that the U.S. dollar is nowhere near getting up to dance?”

Which currency prevails in this competition is anyone’s guess. Just know that the Asian judges are likely to decide.